Breakthrough Family Christmas (2019)
Created by Wade Hair
Winter Park FL
Well, this looks like just about the last theater event for 2019, and it’s a fun tradition that Breakthrough started about eight years ago. A rotating cast of their regular actors (a surprisingly large group) each sings one of their favorite holiday tunes. I suppose there some coordination, but the only things rehearsed en mass are the opener and closer (“Hear Them Bells” and “I Believe in Santa Claus”). Naturally, everything is a highlight, but I’ll drop a few names just to give you a flavor of the show. Marisol put on a Disney-style Polynesian costume and leads us in “Christmas On This Island, “ and that’s followed by Christi and her ukulele cover of “You’re Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” “Hear them Bells” and the kazoo flavored “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” pop up next, then Damany O Riley nails “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting”). Iris Johnson pops off “Christmas Shoe”, a new song in my rotation. Angelyn Rhode gives us “Little Toy Trains,” and the emotional highlight of the evening is a full break down by a young woman who just had a death in the family. It’s like a real family here, with triumphs and tragedies, but a common thread of “We are here for each other” that keeps the show on the rails and in your heart.