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Arnaldo! and Divalycious are back for the holidays
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Arnaldo! and Divalycious are back for the holidays

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse returns to Julia's on Broadway for what is fast becoming a new Seattle tradition: A Cabaret Winter Wonderland with Arnaldo! Under the musical direction of Victor Janusz, this year's program includes an impressive 19 songs performed by the incomparable Arnaldo! From warm and cozy numbers to upbeat Christmas cheer, A Cabaret Winter Wonderland serves up the perfect mix of holiday fun.

Arnaldo! invited the SGN for a preview of the program during a live dress rehearsal on November 29 at Julia's. It was an absolute pleasure to get a sneak peak at the professional approach Arnaldo! takes when preparing for a show. Each musical note, silent nuance, and playful wink is timed and rehearsed to perfection.

Backed by Janusz on keys and a jazz trio, a few standards are offered, "Winter Wonderland," Santa Baby" and "Christmas Waltz" to name a few. In addition, audience participation is encouraged during a lively sing-along of "Let it Snow" and "Sleigh Bells." However, a few lesser-known ballads and one witty up-tempo number are the program standouts.

In a musical rendition of a relationship gone badly, Arnaldo! delivers the emotional "I Don't Remember Christmas" flawlessly. The beautiful "That's What I Want For Christmas" will undoubtedly have you holding your lover close as you listen to Arnaldo! swoon about romance for the holidays. In a comedic rewrite of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" turned "The Twelve Days After Christmas," the audience is taken on a hilarious journey through 12 days of returning bad gifts.

The roughly one-hour show is perfect for date night, a great way to spend time with visiting family and friends, and an opportunity to have dinner and drinks while being thoroughly entertained.

The venue, Arnaldo! says, is of vital importance when guaranteeing the audience a magical and memorable experience. In this case, according to the cabaret veteran, Julia's has the artist and the audience covered.

"A big part of Julia's success is that they work closely with the artists. When transitioning their stage for cabaret, they listened to my suggestions on how to make the venue work as an intimate cabaret space," Arnaldo! told SGN. "Whenever live singing is involved, they bring in a sound person and have invested in equipment that augments any performance they present onstage."

Those investments, Arnaldo! says, have paid off tenfold. "The audience has a wonderful experience when watching shows at Julia's - and they keep coming back."

If you weren't able to make it last year, then you already know this show sells out - so it's best to purchase your tickets early. Dinner seating starts at 5:30 p.m. with the show beginning at approximately 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 for general (and a two-drink minimum without dinner) or $10 for seniors and students with ID. For more information about Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse visit her online at www.dragchanteuse.com.

Also joining the lineup for Julia's on Broadway's holiday shows is the versatile vocal quartet, Divalycious. Stacie Calkins, Laurie Clothier, Natalie Lerch and Ashley Middleton - along with David Duvall and the boys in the band - return to Julia's this season for a wintry evening of song, which they say "is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!" The vocal quartet will prove once again that they can sing anything, moving effortlessly from "Gesu Bambino" to "Jingle Bell Rock," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to "Winter Wonderland." Plus, the ladies say they will perform their infamous Santa medley. Have Yourself a Divalycious Christmas will be onstage December 10, 17, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per-person and going fast, so it is suggested that you purchase tickets ahead of time.

To reserve a table or purchase tickets for A Cabaret Winter Wonderland with Arnaldo! and Have Yourself a Divalycious Christmas, call (206) 334-0513. For more information about Julia's on Broadway, visit their website at www.juliasresterauntseattle.com.

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