After a show at Manchester’s Palace Theatre, the team of Christmas in New York brought the show to London’s own gorgeous Palace Theatre to rejoice in Christmas songs, featuring some of the finest West End and Broadway performers!
When it was announced that not only would this concert be happening, but who the phenomenal people headlining it would be, I think I instantly booked myself a ticket! With the likes of Tori Allen-Martin, Andy Coxon, Scott Garnham, Zoe Rainey, Luke Kempner, Lucy May Barker and Julie Atherton performing, that’s more than worth the ticket price. Add in Broadway star Eden Espinosa to the mix and you’ve got a line up that wasn’t to be missed.
The principle company joined together to open the show with Christmas In New York, before Eden gave a fantastic rendition of Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind. I have to say it was so surreal seeing her perform live in the flesh having never had the opportunity to see her before, and she is full of power, it was a pleasure to finally see her! Andy Coxon then sang the ever-fun This Christmas, before Zoe Rainey sang All Those Christmas Clichés which I don’t think I’ve ever heard before! Paired with the fact I’d sadly yet to see her live until this concert made for a lovely new experience on the ears. Julie Atherton then performed a song already mastered having included it in her concerts at the St James the previous weekend, she sang Winter, which sounded even more beautiful projected into the Palace.
When you hear Baby It’s Cold Outside sung, it’s normally quite a sultry tongue in cheek rendition, however when done by Scott Garnham and Tori Allen-Martin I don’t think any of us were expecting the hilarious version of theirs. With accusations from Scott “What did you put in that drink?!” and Tori adamantly saying there’d be no way to travel in the cold, we were all in fits of laughter. Lucy May Barker then performed a slick Last Christmas.
Luke Kempner joined Zoe in a stunning rendition of Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas sounding gorgeous together. Andy and Tori returned to the stage to perform a mash-up of Stevie Wonder’s What Christmas Means to Me and Mariah Carey’s Baby Please Come Home, two songs that merged together incredibly well. Scott then sang My Grown Up Christmas List, with Andy then performing It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas.
Performing a hauntingly beautiful mash-up of In The Bleak Mid-Winter and A Winter’s Tale was Zoe, Andy and Ambra Caserotti which sounded divine, there’s no other way to describe it. Tori then proceeded to break hearts with Miss You Most (At Christmas Time), and what I loved was the feeling of pride for her having seen her on the much smaller stage of Freedom Bar recently, to performing on the huge Palace stage with total ease – such a pro! Julie and Andy then performed a lovely duet of When You Believe, before the company joined together for a fantastic Extraordinary Merry Christmas which had everyone dancing in their seats I think!
Following the interval Eden allowed the audience to get to know her a little bit more by properly giving an introduction and saying how by performing at the Palace it was her West End debut! Fingers crossed she’ll be back on a West End stage again… She beautifully sang what she said was a Christmas favourite of hers, Silent Night, and asked the audience to join in with her towards the end as a Christmas treat for her, which did sound incredibly sweet. She was then joined by one of her new friends, Scott, to gorgeously perform A Christmas Story.
Eden then left Scott for him to perform the classic Winter Wonderland, which was followed by the equally classic Santa Baby that Lucy performed with much cheek and charm. Lucy was then joined by Zoe for them to sing White Christmas, their voices harmonising in the most stunning fashion! Recently I’ve heard The Perfect Year sung a lot due to it being on Louise Dearman’s anticipated album, however I absolutely adored hearing a very different arrangement of it sung by Tori on this night. It’s a pleasure to hear live the same song in various styles and both brilliant in equal measure, I feel like Tori sang it with a a slightly more contemporary tone and I loved it. Definitely had a tear in my eye!
As she did in her own concert, Julie sang the ever-brilliant My Simple Christmas Wish which was brilliantly received in the Palace, her comedic ability is flawless. Nearing the end of the show, the whole company came together to perform Just In Time For Christmas and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, before Eden invited the MTA Choir compiled of 1st Year students onto the stage to join them for the final number of the show. They all performed a mesmerising O Holy Night, leaving everyone’s jaws hanging slightly, before a fun small reprise of Christmas in New York after the bows.
I enjoyed this show so much, and what I loved especially was having heard quite a few of the same songs at Giggin’ For Good the night before but performed in a completely different way, and still brilliantly. It showed the versatility of not only the performers but in the way they can be arranged to suit all ranges of occasions.
I’ve spoken a lot about the principle cast of this concert however I certainly have to mention the sublime backing vocalists for the evening, Ambra Caserotti, Sarah Goggin, Nathan Lodge and Sebastian Thomas, led under musical direction of Joe Louis Robinson and the glorious band. Well done to everyone involved for a very successful concert full of Christmas cheer, it was enjoyed by all!