When I was a kid, we watched all the Christmas specials on TV. The Carol Burnett Christmas Special, the Donny & Marie Christmas Special. Whoever was the variety show flavor of the day got their own Christmas special on TV, and we were glued to the TV to watch it.
The Beef & Boards Theatre in Northwest Indianapolis offers their own take on the television Christmas Special with the A Beef & Boards Christmas. The 90 minute show was styled after the “classic variety shows of Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan, Red Skelton, Dinah Shore, and Bob Hope,” said their media release.
I had a chance to attend with my wife and our mothers, and everyone enjoyed it. Beforehand, we enjoyed Chef Odell Ward’s holiday buffet, which included all the Christmas favorites — roast beef, turkey, mixed vegetables, five cheese pasta, and coffee and tea — as well as some dessert afterward.
After dinner, the show began with some fun songs, including the Chipmunk Song, All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. After the intermission, things got a little more serious with Snowfall, Christmas is For Children, and a salute to the troops with a Merry Christmas Darling and I’ll be Home for Christmas medley that made me get something in my eye. And if you ran out of corn during dinner, Eddy Curry’s jokes gave you more corn than you needed.
Our favorite piece in the whole performance was Christopher Dickerson’s performance on “O Holy Night,” which is one of my favorite Christmas songs, especially when it’s performed by a talented singer like Dickerson. He has performed at the Beef & Boards a few times in the past, and I hope he makes this a regular stop as part of his tour. Dickerson isn’t one of those singers who feels the need to belt it out because he can. Belting for the sake of belting is getting boring (looking at you, Glee). Dickerson understands and appreciates subtle nuances with his voice, and powerful doesn’t have to equal loud. His performance made the entire evening for me.
That’s not to say the rest of the performance went lacking. It was all good, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I heard several Christmastime favorites, and some new songs I had never heard.
The Beef & Boards Christmas plays from November 26 – December 23. Tickets range from $35 to $58. The show plays every day except Mondays, and has evening and matinee performances. Visit the Beef and Boards website for the show schedule and more information about upcoming shows.