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A Swingin’ Christmas: The Holiday Music of Tony Bennett

A Swingin’ Christmas: The Holiday Music of Tony Bennett

Winter Park Playhouse

Created by David Grapes & Todd Olson / Music Arrangements by Vince di Mura

This holiday season seemed to have fewer seasonally themed events, so this musical extravaganza made up for a lot of missing holiday traditions.

Four of Orlando’s top musicians spent an evening with us, hitting most of the Christmas standards along with a few surprises. This music fun house led us to the mid-century world of Tony Bennett, one of the 20th century’s finest performers. Bennett remained active for over 70 years on Broadway and in film. Along the way, he collected a shelf full of Emmys and Oscars and all those other cute little statues that prove he’s really, truly important. All this history boils down to forty or so holiday tunes, easy standards like “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and then the troupe tackles the more vocally challenging “Melody of Broadway” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” Big applause all around.

Ms. Anderson’s arrangements were top-notch, and all seemed to fit together nicely, even if Rudolph was parked next to an evil alien Cy Coleman and Duke Ellington. But that’s the reason you came here tonight, the Broadway and mid-century hits are what this space does most effectively. The night I attended was interrupted with some police activity out on Orange Avenue and a distant parking space. But inside all was well, the bar was open, the regular show people were off doing important theater stuff, and the show went off with out a hitch. Christmas: its not all guilt and expense.

Winter Park Playhouse


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