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December 16, 2014:

Kritzerland Christmas III reviewed by Rob Stevens

Kritzerland’s annual Christmas show was held at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal on Sunday, December 7. Even though it was Pearl Harbor Day, no bombs were dropped on that stage. The young talented duo of Brennley Brown and Sami Staitman started spreading the holiday cheer with their opening number, “Be A Santa,” from Subways Are For Sleeping. Ten-year old Hadley Belle Miller may be pint-sized but proved she was a belter with “That Man Over There” from Here’s Love. Sarah Staitman made merry with “Let It Snow” while younger sister Sami delivered an impassioned “My Simple Christmas Wish.”

photo by Karen Staitmen

Kim Huber worked magic with the classic “The Christmas Song” while her husband Roger Befeler delivered the sweet ballad “A Place Called Home” from a musical TV version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Their daughter Paige Befeler livened up the evening with rockin’ renditions of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Huber also sang the plaintive “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and joined her husband for “Lovers on Christmas Eve” from the musical I Love My Wife. A strong outing from a very talented family.

Robert Yacko had a merry old time mashing up “Christmas Waltz” and “Sleigh Ride.” Host Bruce Kimmel did a lovely job on his (and this writer’s) favorite holiday song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” first introduced by the legendary Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St. Louis. Special Guest Jason Graae delivered the heartfelt ballad “Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises, Promises. Believe me, you had to hear it for yourself. He also elicited laughs with “My All-Purpose Christmas Carol.” Madison Claire Parks also got laughs with Kimmel’s composition, “This Christmas Wish,” a very Jewish take on Christmas carols. Parks did a lovely job on the ballad “Winter Was Warm” from this writer’s favorite adaptation of the Dickens’ tale, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, before ending the evening with a joyous “White Christmas.” Earlier young Brennley Brown brought down the house with her rendition of “O Holy Night.” A good time was had by all as free CDs and dessert were gifted to all present. A very merry start for the holiday season.

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