Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2013

Dave Koz and Friends Make Cerritos All Shiny and Bright

             By Glen Creason

     Dave Koz had a lot of presents under the tree at his very big and traditional Christmas show at the Performing Arts Center over the Cerritos weekend. The smooth adjective has been jettisoned and maybe for good reason since the pace was as brisk as the Winter Winds that stirred the cool flags on top of the theater and there was plenty of rocking, non-smooth moments to remember in this show. This was a concert that spared little in the Christmas bells and ornaments with an impressive lighting system, a fully decked-out stage, a multi-media screen and costumes that would have made Vegas envious. Ah yes, there was also music, lots of Christmas tunes that were translated well by the artists who wowed the full-house with more than two dozen mostly well-known and well-played classics. The headliners besides Koz were pianist Keiko Matsui, guitarist-singer Jonathon Butler, singer Oleta Adams and a guest turn or two by young violinist Aaron Weinstein.

      It is impossible to resist the positive charm and enthusiasm of Koz plus his generosity to the band and other artists make for a very engaging and sweet-natured evening at the theater. The foursome played together or in duets a selection of old chestnuts that still sounded pretty fresh. Stuff like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “My Favorite Things,” “Christmas Song,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “White Christmas,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and even “Jingle Bells” were polished up and presented with high-energy and some unexpected flourishes that made the big crowd giddy at times.  There were some non-Christmas hits played like Koz’s “You Make Me Smile,”  “Black Lion” by Keiko Matsui, “”Wonderful World” by Jonathon Butler and a soaring “Get There” by Oleta Adams. Still, the highlights of this show were the terrific Chanukah tune “Eight Candles,”  done beautifully by Koz in duet with the talented Weinstein and the extended, emotional reading of “O Holy Night” by Butler that got a standing ovation from every seat in the big hall.  This style of music is perfectly suited to remembering the old favorites without having to brush the dust off the music and Koz is a perfect interpreter of the happiness of these cherished holidays. 


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