Naughty or Nice is a cathartic blast of wintry air, a daring alternative to the usual stale offerings. Tony Houck is a hoot as the jerk-off son and drug addict rock star in rehab.
Berlin’s delightful songs put us in the holiday mood and help the show plod along through 18 scenes. Director Todd Nielsen preserves the corny romantic plot. Still, the show glitters all the same because of the music, excellent dance sequences choreographed by Lisa Hopkins, and a few comic surprises.
Long before Baroque oratorio, ballet’s Sugar Plum Fairy and Rudolph defined our Christmas musical celebrations, the Christian Church cultivated an extensive choral tradition that probed the season’s profound mystery. Saturday (Dec. 13) at St. Brigid’s Church in Pacific Beach, Bach Collegium San Diego offered a resplendent concert of Gregorian chant and Renaissance motets for Advent and Christmas . . .
No matter how celebrated the composer, a commission is always a gamble. David Bruce’s “Night Parade”— the slightly jazzy, atmospheric tone poem he wrote for the San Diego Symphony’s Carnegie Hall debut and China tour last year—proved amiable, but it was no show-stopper. His new Violin Concerto “Fragile Light,” which Gil Shaham premiered under Music Director Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony Friday (Dec. 12), however, struck pay dirt . . .
The obituary for the solo vocal recital has been written so frequently it is a wonder that singers still attempt to present it. This fall, San Diego Opera has demonstrated how to make this supposedly moribund format come to life, and Friday (Dec. 12) mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe entranced her ample audience at the Balboa Theatre . . .