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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 21, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 51
Seattle Men's Chorus' 'Jingle All the Way' holiday concert one of their best in years
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Seattle Men's Chorus' 'Jingle All the Way' concert a truly sensational evening

by MK Scott - SGN Contributing Writer

SEATTLE MEN'S CHORUS
'JINGLE ALL THE WAY'
BENAROYA HALL
December 21 @ 7:30pm
December 23 @ 2pm & 7:30pm


It is hard to fathom that it has been 20 years since I first attended a Seattle Men's Chorus concert.

Their current holiday concert, 'Jingle All the Way,' that I attended on Dec. 9, is one of their best in years. Artistic Director Paul Caldwell's energy was relaxed, and he seems to understand that what pleases Seattle audiences most is a balance of inspirational and fun.

Gone is Captain Smartypants (which never really caught on, even after 17 years), but the Chorus has a new subgroup, a small vocal ensemble in the form of the Supertonics, which is mixed-gender and a cappella, in the tradition of Zipper, and a great representation of both the Men's and Women's Choruses. Their renditions of 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' and 'Song for a Winter's Night' were pitch-perfect. In Act 2, they proved they could also do comedy (like Captain Smartypants) with a 'Rudolph'/Hamilton mash-up.

Act 1 is usually the serious/traditional part of an SMC holiday concert, so it was fitting that it was balanced between spiritual and traditional by including 'Silver Bells,' 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,' 'Jingle Bell Rock,' and a soulful 'Hallelujah Chorus.' Act 1 also had one fun number (I think] it should have had two), 'Te Deseo Feliz Navidad,' featuring a drag number by soloist Rene Salinas.

Act 2 started with the campy 'Manger 6' by the one and only Bob Rivers. Irving Berlin's 'Happy Holiday' was followed by Seattle actor Paul Flanagan as Vic the Elf in the 'Virtual Intelligence Chorus,' the Chorus's most creative holiday sketch in years.

To honor Hanukkah, 'Miracle' was a fitting choice. This was followed by 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' and 'Welcome Christmas' (from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas). The annual tradition of the audience sing-along got a much-needed makeover, with a medley of seven songs instead of three full ones.

The finale was fun and exciting, with a built-in standing ovation for 'Disco Santa' and a Christmas parody of 'Y.M.C.A.' using 'N.O.E.L.'

I'm glad to see the Chorus has fully entered the Caldwell era at last!


The SMC's final 'Jingle All the Way' concerts are scheduled for Friday, 12/21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday, 12/23 at 2pm & 7:30pm at Benaroya Hall (on 3rd Avenue between E. Union and E. University Sts.) in downtown Seattle. For more information and tickets, call (206) 388-1400 or visit seattlechoruses.org

MK Scott is a Seattle-based political and arts writer. Check out his site at uniteseattlemag.com

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