Conducted by: Stuart Chafetz
Featuring Tony DeSare and Capathia Jenkins
w/the UW Chorale and The Beaconettes
I've seen more holiday performances this season than in any other years. From the wonderful play, "Miss Bennet- Christmas At Pemberley" at the Taproot Theatre to Northwest favorite, "The Nutcracker" by the Pacific Northwest Ballet company to the yearly tradition of the Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Tacoma Dome to the delightful "A Charlie Brown Christmas" also at the Taproot Theatre. Whew! What was next on the holiday media agenda?
The Seattle Symphony has been doing this for years during the holidays. This was my first time experiencing the show and I was definitely looking forward to it.
Benaroya Hall was dressed up as one would expect - tasteful holiday decorations throughout. Much of the audience was dressed in holiday colors (both formal and informal attire).
The program was roughly two hours in length. The Seattle Symphony as conducted by Stuart Chafetz started the evening with, "We Need a Little Christmas". Featured vocalists Tony DeSare (vocals and piano) and Capathia Jenkins (vocals) returned to Seattle having performed here three years prior. "It's the Most Wonderful time of the Year" was next and put the crowd, myself included, in the holiday spirit. Tony's voice is a mix of yesteryear jazz with a bit of a modern influence. It fit perfectly throughout the night for the tunes he performed. Capathia Jenkins has a powerful voice - and it didn't surprise me to learn she has done a lot of musicals as her voice reminded me of something I'd hear on Broadway.
Songs such as, "All I Want for Christmas is You", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", and a timely twist on the in-the-news classic, "Baby, it's Cold Outside" were performed with precision and pride.
Before the intermission, local favorites The Beaconettes joined the festivities. They performed holiday classics with local topics and lyrics. "Marijuana" and "Good Bye Viaduct" give you an idea of the fun these ladies had with the traditional classics. I loved them but not everyone in the audience seemed pleased. There's always a Grinch at every show, unfortunately.
Act I ended with a rousing rendition of, "Christmas In The Rain" sung to the melody of "Singing In The Rain".
After the intermission, the holiday favorites continued. "O Come, All Ye Faithful", "The First Noel", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and a few others.
Tony performed an original song and showcased his talents by doing "Jingle Bells" 20 different ways (look it up on his YouTube channel - it's awesome).
The main set ended with Capathia Jenkins bringing down the house with a rendition of, "O Holy Night!" She was absolutely stellar on this song. What a way to end the show!
One encore later and the lights came up to officially end the performance.
Everything worked. The Seattle Symphony, the UW chorale, the featured performers of Tony and Capathia, the song selection - even old Saint Nick (who I believe was played by another Nick - as in Watson) made a few appearances as well as did either Rudolph or a different reindeer (I'm not sure which - sorry).
The Holidays Pops with the Seattle Symphony was a perfect holiday treat in December!