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Dec 9, 2006 - Bah! Humbug! On David King's "Spirit of Christmas" at Reno's Eldorado Casino
By By Jack Neal
Scrooge knew something, we just learned! David King doesn't like to spend money either.
British producer David King is in the business of creating budget shows for nightclubs and other live-performance venues. His "Spirit of Christmas," presumably designed to cash in on the popularity of his "Spirit of the Dance" shows, has just recently settled in for a holiday-season run in the beautiful showroom at Reno's Eldorado Hotel and Casino.
There's nothing wrong with budget shows. They can be terrific.
However, there's something sparse and unfulfilling about a production that isn't theatrically motivated or modulated, doesn't have interesting choreography, nor other production values such as lavish looking sets and costumes and lighting that brings some modicum of enchantment to a show's look. "Spirit of Christmas" is only moderately attractive to see.
Live music is best, but if recorded music must be used, why not use a real orchestra instead of tacky synthesized sound? The scoring for "Spirit of Christmas" is cold and brittle. "Spirit of Christmas" is unflattering to hear.
Then there's the "fill" –about fifteen minutes in a 75 minute show – with an elf enticing the audience to fill in the gaps the production staff (producer David King, director Brian Rogers, choreographers Gary Lloyd and Robert Wheeler, set designer Solly Matofsky, lighting designer Boon Casey, costumes by Saff and Silky) has neglected to fill with real entertainment.
Getting "full" of the "Spirit of Christmas's" "fill" gets old "fast."
What King's "Spirit of Christmas" does have in its favor is a cast (not listed in the program) of seventeen that has the talent – some terrific singing – and a desire to make the show a quality endeavor, and could – if only they had better direction and material.
"Spirit of Christmas" has some color and is mildly entertaining. With more invention and attention to detail it could develop into a holiday show worthy of the season.
"Spirit of Christmas" can be seen at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino, 345 North Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada, November 22 through December 29 (2006), Tuesdays through Sundays at 7 p.m. (also 9:30 Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays). For information call 775-786-5700, 800-648-5966, or go online at eldoradoreno.com.
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