REVIEW: The Young Americans—"The Magic of Christmas"
Updated: Dec 3, 2022
A Season of Light!
If you’ve ever wondered how a group of kids can inspirit the world through their music, look no further. The Young Americans, now in the midst of their spectacular holiday run at La Mirada Theatre, presents one of their biggest and most captivating Christmas Show of Shows to date, “The Magic of Christmas,” featuring 76 Young Americans cast members in a sparkling extravaganza Christmas revue, with a final matinee performance on December 19th.
A state-of-the-art 45-foot LED video wall presents a vibrant backdrop to over 30 holiday scenes with songs blending various genres from rock to opera. And elaborate sets transport you visually from a winter wonderland to a train ride to the North Pole, and thousands of costume changes along the way.
For more than five decades, The Young Americans has been charming audiences around the world with their high energy, professional-level performances. From their early days of performing with legends such as Andy Williams, Fred Astaire, Ed Sullivan, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby to their current International Music Outreach Tours that include hundreds of shows each year around the world, the group is credited with being the first show choir in America that mixed choreography with choral singing. They still remain a tour de force for youth in both music and dance performance today, using the arts to heal, inspire and promote positive vibes. Each year, The Young Americans bring performing arts programs to over 450 communities in more than 15 countries, involving hundreds of thousands of kids with the purpose of inspiring the world through music.
In addition to their workshops, summer camp programs, Broadway-calibre corporate shows and Summer Dinner Theatre, their annual performance schedule includes this highly anticipated two-week run of “The Magic of Christmas” at one of the most highly lauded theatres in Southern California, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, transforming the theater into a winter dreamland!
Spectacularly produced and choreographed, the show’s fast-moving musical numbers spotlight segments like hip-hopping penguins, dancing Santas, The Nutcracker Suite, Toyland soldiers, and classic Christmas choral music, along with Handel’s Messiah.
Other favorites in the show include The Holiday Inn, The Polar Express, and Adventures in a Winter Wonderland. Traditional Christmas favorites that fans can't wait to hear round out the program and brings out the unmistaken talents of the performers: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Bakers Dozen,” “Toyland,” “White Christmas,” “Boogie Oogie Penguins,” “The Christmas Choral,” and many more, all with reworked holiday themed lyrics and an ample supply of youthful enthusiasm.
Directed by Linda Love Simmons, Assistant Directed by Kiara Sampson, Produced by Eric Funk and Stage Managed by Carl Meyer with assistance from Jacob Figueroa & Austin Conaway. Sound Designer Julie Ferrin; Lighting Designer Jean-Yves Tessier; Choreographers Hannah Simmons/Steven Agdeppa/Anne Ma Celebrating China/Monica Mostow Celebrating Diwali/Carlos Thomas Rhythm in City; Music Directors Benet Braun/Bret Simmons/Jessica Caravella; Costume Design by Kristy Yannich.
“The holidays are a time where we remember our past and look forward to a bright future…where we are reminded to love unconditionally and hope for a brighter day,” says Director Simmons. “In this holiday season, it seems like we need this more than ever. With the world tentatively opening up, I, along with the whole creative team, wanted to create a show full of love and light, and a penguin or two.”
Now, young and old can look forward to a Christmas show to remember, with wonderfully choreographed musical numbers including Toyland, The Hallelujah Chorus and The Nutcracker. And how can anyone resist those hip-hoping Penguins and Dancing Santas?
Don't miss this spectacular event! The Young Americans "The Magic of Christmas," performance dates are Dec 10th – 19th. Tickets are $18-$65, available online at https://lamiradatheatre.com/tickets/
Arts & Entertainment Reviewer
The Show Report