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REVIEW: Lehi Arts Council produces playful review of holiday classics

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The Lehi Arts Council’s third Holiday Review was a success in terms of both audience turnout and performance quality. Nearly every seat was filled at Thursday night’s performance, and song after song left the audience in uproarious applause.

A theatrical set of a cozy Christmas living room, complete with stockings over the fireplace and presents under the tree, served as the backdrop for a holiday review full of beautiful music, fun choreography and talented performers. In the words of the show’s director, Cali Wilkes, it was a “musical feast.”

The performance kicked off with an ensemble number from Elf the Musical, “A Christmas Song,” setting the tone for the evening. “Just sing a Christmas song; it's like magic if things go wrong. Just spread some Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear,” the song states, inviting the audience to ready themselves for the Christmas cheer sure to come their way.

As the review continued, members of the cast performed numbers of all kinds. Every song had something special to share, but a handful stood out.

Joni Mitchell’s “River” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” appeared back-to-back, performed by powerhouse vocalists Elisha Garrett and Jagger Weichers, respectively. Both of these performances tugged at heartstrings, each for very different reasons. Garrett’s performance brought chills to the audience, while Weicher’s delivered a festive warmth.

“Cool Yule” began as a solo by Sierra Palmer, who was shortly joined by four dancers. The five of them performed a wonderfully choreographed tap number that brought an element of fun and excitement to the show after a handful of smooth solo and duet pieces.

Philip Childs opened the second act with “The Man With the Bag,” a performance that brought candy canes to a few and smiles to all. Riley Anderson performed “Never Fall in Love” beautifully, belting out the final notes with a voice that brought the house down.

To say that the kids in this show wowed the audience would be an understatement. After an adorable group performance of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Dallas Luck had the audience laughing over his physical comedy throughout his rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”

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Later in the show, sisters Harper and Taylor Burgess sang “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” decked out in matching Christmas-y cowgirl outfits, bringing more giggles to the crowd as they danced in unison and pointed to Tiffany Burgess, their actual mother, who was also part of the cast, sharing a kiss with Santa under the mistletoe.

The performance ended, strong as ever, with “We Need a Little Christmas.” The cast sang this classic Christmas show tune with beautiful, tight harmonies, each cast member looking satisfied after a job well done.

“Working on the holiday review at the Lehi Arts Center has been an absolute joy. I have a dynamite production team that has been a fabulous collaborative group to create this show with,” said Wilkes. “We wanted it to feature our strong performers with unique solos, duets, dance numbers, and ensemble pieces that showcased their talents and hopefully brought a variety of feelings and perspectives on the holiday season.”

Whether Christmas is non-stop joy and excitement or comes with feelings of loneliness, this show is special and has something for everyone. There are two more performances of LAC’s Holiday Review on Dec. 15 and 16, both of which are,unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, sold out.

Visit lehiarts.org for more information about upcoming shows.

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