The signs of the season: Salvation Army bells ringing. Greenery hung, decorated and lit. Every imaginable form of sale that can be dreamt up to separate people from their money; Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Charitable Tuesday.
My favorite sign of the Christmas Season is music. While the radio is not always on a continuous Christmas music station, I look forward to the possibility and flip over from time to time when the mood hits, or when the mood is needed.
One reason the radio is not tuned primarily to an all Christmas radio station is twofold. One; they play the same songs and artists over and over. Two; creative, new or unusual music is rarely if at all played. Plus, I prefer my entertainment to be live and local, Christmas music is no different.
For this reason I spent Sunday afternoon at the Beaver Dam Area Community Theater on 219 North Spring Street. BDACT favorites Loco Vocals have put a humorous yet family friendly spin on some classic seasonal tunes.
Will any standard Christmas songs be sung? Yes they will, and several awesome non seasonal standard tunes too. Well…sort of.
The instrumentals are undoubtedly recognizable and some of the lyrics are vaguely close to the original work, with one major diversion. The subject matter pokes fun at Christmas season events that we endure more than enjoy. Like winter driving, shopping, over eating (and imbibing), decorating, unwanted overnight guests and even the cold and flu bugs.
Spiritual songs like “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” may never recover from their maker over, plus many secular songs like “Deck The Halls” and “Let It Snow” take on a whole new meaning. However, for me a few non season standards were my favorites.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon recently took current hits and turned them into a funny Christmas medley. Loco Vocals does the same in their show. The B52s “Love Shack” gets a great Holiday transformation while the show ending number “House of the Rising Sun” becomes a seriously beautiful tribute to what is the best parts of the season.
Loco Vocals is a 4 part vocal group featuring soprano Jenny Addison, alto Cheryl Zeman, tenor Jay Wilkins and bass Rick Ramirez. The band consists of David Carlson on guitar, Tanya Diggins on piano, Jeff Mroz on bass, and BDACT Managing Director David Sanitor on drums. And assisting with props and 2 vocal numbers is the elfin cutie Christina Miller.
For my money the most entertaining numbers featured the physical comedy of Rick Ramirez. Beware of flying ‘debris’ during the song “Flu Ride.” No secular journey into the Christmas season would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus played only the way the Rick can do it in spoofs of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” and a play on the B52s song “Love Shack.” Rick really sparkles, literally, while altering the bilingual classic “Feliz Navidad” proclaiming that the Ramirez family has never been more proud after the ovation.
Join us, won’t you? The remaining performances are December 2nd, 4th and 5th at 7:30 pm in the Beaver Dam Area Community Theater on 219 N. Spring Street. Tickets start at $10 per seat and can be purchased many ways. On line at www.bdact.org, at Rechek’s Food Pride on 609 North Spring Street or by phone 920-887-7675.