A San Diego stage Christmas
Reviewed December 2009
The Sounds of Lamb's Players Festival of Christmas: Best of 2007-2009
By various artists
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Lamb's Players Theatre, the Coronado-based Christian company that has become one of the better regional theaters in the San Diego area, has been offering its "Festival of Christmas" with the cream of San Diego's musical theater talent each fall the past few years. This new best-of cast recording has an old-fashioned tint to it a bit like a 1960s Christmas TV special, with traditional carols mixed with a enough stylistic twists to keep things interesting.
Frequent Peter Sprague vocal collaborator Leonard Patton is featured on lead vocals on several tracks, and his jazz-oriented delivery adds a nice sophistication to "Christmas on My Mind," and keeps "God Rest Ye, Reggae Gentlemen" from becoming silly. Nathan Peirson's twangy vocal is perfect on "Cowboy Christmas," while Joy Yandell's crystalline voice and a contemporary arrangement combine to make for an angelic and unique take on "Away In a Manger."
And those seeking something less commercial and truer to the religious roots of the Christmas holiday will enjoy Erik Cederberg's contemporary praise takes of "Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Silent Night)" and "O Come Emmanuel."
It's a fun record, with superb sound quality and a nice eclectic mix of styles.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).