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Curtain Calls TRIPLE XTRA

By |2003-12-04T09:00:00-05:00December 4th, 2003|Uncategorized|

By John Quinn

Kicking out the jams with The Rockettes

When Radio City Entertainment began mounting holiday shows outside of New York City, Detroit’s Fabulous Fox Theatre was one of the first venues. This is Year Seven for our “new” tradition – “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” – and Year 70 that the Rockettes have been featured in a holiday review.
“Family” entertainment has a different meaning in this context, and I was unsure that I had the proper perspective to comment on a show hosted by the Man in the White Beard (not Charles Alexander; the other one).
So assuming I could benefit from a younger perspective, I went to the Rent-A-Kid center, but they were already out of Precocious Tykes. Should you be in the same predicament, not to worry – the evening performances are attended mainly by adults.
Nor are the kiddies a bother; the only time I was aware of the junior set was during one of the three new numbers in the show, “I’m There,” which features a couple of dozen dancing Santas. The house was filled with an excited rustle, and the kids seemed to like it, too.
“The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” is just that – spectacular. Mainly a dance review, it features vivid color, first-class choreography and absolutely dazzling costumes. You can take your mother; you can take your daughter -or take both – and you can rest easy that you’ll all be thoroughly entertained.
“Radio City Christmas Spectacular” Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, through Dec. 27. Tickets: $18.50 – $60.50. 313-471-6611. www.olympiaentertainment.com.
The Bottom Line: This is the show for every one of you who dreamed of tights and taps and kicking in the chorus line – and you women out there, too.

Meadow Brook comes a-caroling with Dickens’ masterpiece

This year marks the 28th season of “A Christmas Carol” at Meadow Brook Theatre, a pretty “old” tradition by area standards. Charles Dickens isn’t just part of our holiday tradition, we draw heavily on his Christmas sketches for our modern rituals.
Dickens did not paint the nostalgic picture of Victorian England we associate with “Carol;” it was one of many attacks at the crippling inequities of the British social structure. Ebenezer Scrooge is the embodiment of a system sickened to its very soul by the quest for money. And yet the work holds out the hope that a person – or a people – can be redeemed.
Dennis Robertson returns as Scrooge, the absolute pivot of this big story. His Ebenezer is a cantankerous curmudgeon; stuffy, stingy and utterly lacking the social graces. He is more worthy of our pity than our fear.
Meadow Brook stages a veritable Hallmark card of “A Christmas Carol;” a big cast, splendid Victorian costumes and an elaborate set with more tricks than David Blaine.
Charles Nolte’s adaptation for the stage accentuates the positive, and rather glosses over Dickens’s political side. Gone is the narrative, although a lot if it is interpolated into the dialogue. Dickens’ mastery of the English language remains, though, and this production inspired me to haul out the original for another satisfying read.
“A Christmas Carol” Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester, Nov. 28 – Dec. 21. Tickets: $28 – $38. 248-377-3300. www.mbtheatre.com.
The Bottom Line: An assessable rendition of the classic story, great for solid family entertainment.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.