Saturday night, Michael (aka the husband) and I went to the Variety Christmas Show at Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Everyone involved in this extremely entertaining production should be highly commended. Awarded. Applauded. Taken to dinner…
You get the idea.
The decorations were stunning (all of Grand Rivers was lit up and took my breath away) and the costumes? I have no idea where they come up with the gorgeous, adorable clothes they wear at these Variety! shows.
Every single detail smacks of perfection.
Speaking of perfection, the cast is ridiculously talented, and filled with so much energy! They earned the standing ovation they received and then some. Actually, several of us gave them two standing ovations – one, of course, at the very end of the show and one at the end of a very special performance of Mary, Did You Know?
Those of us who were standing were somehow managing to wipe tears and clap at the same time.
Amazing what you can do when your emotions are moved further than they’ve gone in a while.
You’re well aware, if you’ve read any of my reviews, that I have thoroughly loved each and every play and musical performance at Badgett Playhouse. Every song, every joke, every dance, every cup of coffee… Everything. This particular show was one of the best yet. Michael said, “This is the best one yet” at one point. I’m not sure if it was during the first standing ovation or the second.
Personally, I love little more in life than a good laugh, so I’m going to go with a tie – I tie it with Greater Tuna and Bus Stop. If you didn’t see Bus Stop, you might want to somehow find a way to kick yourself.
If you didn’t see Greater Tuna, hold the kick. You still have time to see the Tuna Christmas Show! We’re going Thursday night and I couldn’t be more excited.
But back to Variety Christmas. As a web publisher, I write for hours each and every day As a female, I talk for even more hours each and every day. Yet, I find myself at a loss to convey to you just how special, not only this particular show was, but how VERY special the singers, dancers, and musicians are.
Let me try it from another angle. Whenever I see a Johnny Deppmovie, I wonder, “Is this man even capable of a sub-par performance?”
Whenever I eat at Willow Pond in Aurora or Willow Pond in Calvert City, I wonder, “Could they make bad catfish if they absolutely had to?”
Each drink of a Starbucks drink (pick one) causes me to ask, “Where have you been all my life?”
And whenever I see a performance at Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, I wonder “What are these people doing in Kentucky?!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m THRILLED that we have them – I’ve gotten countless hours of amazing entertainment from them (and have even marked my calendar for upcoming entertainment!). I’m delighted that their vehicles don’t know the way to Nashville, NYC, or Los Angeles. And, selfishly, I’m delighted that the big wigs in those big wigged towns don’t know the talent that abounds in the beautiful village of Grand Rivers Kentucky. They’d come looking for them! So, shhhhhh….
I listen to far less people on the radio every day and watch people on TV who don’t have an ounce of the charisma, spark, or talent that these performers have. At one point, beautiful Dana Poulson was singing a song and I mentally began counting the people on the radio I’d listened to that day, alone, who didn’t sound nearly as good as she did.
Casie Janet is another very lovely young lady with an absolutely amazing voice. Like Dana, she can dance as well as sing – and for someone who can do neither, I’m blown away. Her family and friends were in the audience and were, understandably, very proud. They, too, gave two tearful ovations.
The young man who sang Mary, Did You Know with Casie was a new addition to the cast – and he was an instant, powerful hit. He hails from Tennessee and his name is, hopefully, Michael Inge. (I say “hopefully” because my husband and I couldn’t totally agree on what we’d heard him introduced as. He isn’t listed in the playbill I got and he isn’t on the Variety! website yet.) After his first solo, my husband said, “He’s a great addition.” I would have answered, but my jaw was on the ground. This young man has an incredible voice and I hope we get to see a lot more of him.
He. Sang. His. Face. Off.
Thomas Michaels – he of the wicked guitar playing – actually sang during the Variety! Christmas show. Wow! I had no idea he had such a good voice. He’s been hiding a great set of pipes!
He continues to impress me, too. We always knew he was to a guitar what I am to a car (i.e. he dangerously drives the heck out of it) but he keeps proving himself in other areas. In Bus Stop, he acted for the first time and came across as though he’d been doing it all of his life. Now, what does he do? He shows off a great singing voice!
You have to see this show if for no other reason than to see Bill Minihan coax Willie Nelson out of Thomas Michaels by holding his nose. It wasn’t the first time in the evening I laughed so hard I had to set my coffee down. And, no, I don’t often set my coffee down.
Speaking of Bill Minihan… This ridiculously talented man and his ridiculously talented and beautiful wife Sara beat all I ever saw. Total Characters. They convey so many emotions with so few facial movements that it’s really something to behold. They pull the audience in unlike any performers I’ve ever seen. You instantly adore them, the minute they hit the stage. They dance beautifully and they obviously have wonderful voices. They’re a beautiful and talented young couple – but that’s not where their magic lies. The thing that makes them so extremely special, and the thing that would make me drive anywhere in the country to watch them perform is a unique “thing” that can’t be taught. It’s something that can’t be coached and can’t be practiced.
Charisma is something you either have or you don’t.
For my Self Help Blog, I was once sent a book by a wonderful author. He even autographed it for me which was pretty darn cool. I loved the book so much that I raved in the review how that it was a beautiful thing to see someone doing what they were meant to do in life. This author has such talent and is so inspiring and motivating that it’s obvious: He’s doing what he’s meant to do in life. His level of talent is a perfect fit with what he does for a living.
You don’t often come across people doing what they do so well that you think, “They’re doing what they were meant to do.” There’s something magical about the rare people that do elicit such a response.
Bill and Sara Minihan are such people. And the real beauty… the real magic… lies in what they were meant to do: Bring smiles to people’s faces and make them feel good. There’s no better mission in life!
And the Minihan’s? They nail it down.