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‘Christmas Is...’ too long

Sydney Presley, Clarion Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 16:12

"Christmas Is…" produced by the fine and performing arts department is a large production.

However, whether or not this holiday tradition at Citrus College is directed towards the right demographic is a topic for discussion.

This year's "Christmas Is…" opened with solid performances by the Citrus Singers, the Women's Ensemble, and the Men's Choir.

The Citrus Singers, conducted by Douglas Austin, performed Christmas classics such as, "Silent Night," "Silver Bells" and "Let It Snow."

Followed by the Women's Ensemble conducted by Keely Milliken, who delivered among many powerful performances, a beautiful rendition of "O Holy Night."

The Men's Ensemble, conducted again by Douglas Austin, returned for a haunting performance of "Prayer of the Children."

Vocal Director Martin Green and Orchestra Conductor, William Hoehne, led the Concert Choir and Orchestra in closing off the first half of "Christmas Is…" with two last songs: "Christmas Bells Are Ringing" and "Christmas Medley."

Citrus College has many talented student performers who put on a beautiful show, but as a start to what is supposed to be an upbeat event, this 23 song set list was too lengthy, despite the quick transitions between songs and singing groups.

After intermission, the show took a complete 180-degree turn with a storyline that follows the Santa Claus narrative.

Out came costumes and large background sets.

The same singers who were previously robed in dark colors were now singing and dancing in Technicolor outfits.

This is where the show got the blood pumping through the hearts of the audience.

Act Two tells the story of a young baker who is looking for the recipe for "The Perfect Christmas Treat," a trek that leads the audience on a journey through his imagination.

The story was heart-warming with many comical moments, although some of the jokes were a bit out of place.

Arizona's controversial immigration law was referenced, and an appearance from "Jersey Shore"-inspired characters seemed inappropriate.

Though these jokes might be considered an effort to reach out to the college student demographic, unfortunately, few students were actually in attendance.

The audience included mostly small children, parents and grandparents.

Of course, the children were there to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus, whereas the adults were there most likely to listen to classic Christmas carols.

Nevertheless, the production was a whole-hearted effort by students in the fine and performing arts department, and an appreciated one at that.


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