Orange County Theatre Reviews

Written by Patrick Chavis

A Very, Very Chance Holiday Cabaret is a streamed show full of Holiday Musical performances. The musical performances are split up by the comedic styling of well-known Chance Performers Alex Bueno (Loch Ness) and Matt Takashi (A Charlie Brown Christmas). While some of the songs are quite moving, the choice of mostly slow songs and ballads drags the show quite a bit. If you’re patient enough and can see through the 90’s style video production quality, the show can be quite charming and a throwback in a way.

The Cabaret is about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and different Chance performers from various plays and musicals perform holiday songs close to their hearts. Holly Moley (Alex Bueno) and Dirk De Halls(Matt Takashi) bring the laughter with small skits to break up each song. Here’s a list of the different musical performers.

Jisel Soleil Ayon (Lizzie, The Musical), Jimmy Beall (Fun Home), Scarlett Brais (Chance debut), Tucker Boyes (The Secret Garden), Jocelyn A. Brown (Into the Woods), Aimee Gomez (A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone), Jacob Gonzalez (Lizzie, The Musical), Laura M. Hathaway (Big Fish), Robyn Manion (Fun Home), James McHale (Dogfight), Erika C. Miller (She Loves Me), Monika Peña (Lizzie, The Musical), Nicole Schlitt (Anne of Green Gables), Yunga Webb (Ragtime), Dony Wright (Ragtime), and Jorge Zuniga (Fun Home).

When it comes to Cabarets, the choice of song and where you place the song in your show is essential. The choice of songs in this production didn’t feel balanced. Introducing more upbeat songs would have made the show more lively. I enjoyed this Cabaret because of the Chance’s bravery in not choosing the most well-known holiday songs and playing it safe. There are plenty of pieces in this show I listened to for the very first time.

A La Nanita Nana performed by Monika Peña alongside Tucker Boyes, and Robyn Manion was beautifully performed in Spanish and English. I enjoyed the Jingle Bells’ performance by Donny Wright, who I previously watched in their Ragtime production. There was even a Lithuanian song translated the song is called “Hey Christmas,”  performed by Erika C. Miller.

If you have strong ties to the Chance Theater, and it’s been a long time since you’ve graced the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, and it has been a long time for everyone. Watching this Cabaret will feel like coming over to see a friend you haven’t seen in a while. But for the uninitiated, The Chance Theater has much better productions under their belt.

The show is available to stream through January 10th on the Chance website at the link below.

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6.7 Overall
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Story6
Acting7
Set & Design6.5
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