The History Theatre’s holiday production this year is “Christmas of Swing,” a take off of its popular “Sisters of Swing” show, featuring music and a storyline for the season.
Critics enjoyed the music, but found the storyline uneven.
Ruthie Baker, Jen Burleigh-Bentz and Stacey Lindell as the Andrews Sisters
Photo by DnK Photography
“Christmas of Swing” fulfills its mission well of offering up a nostalgic, warm-hearted nod to one of America’s finest trios and recreating the period flavor of their music while emphasizing its timeless appeal.
Such plays tend to truck in nostalgia. They work hard to balance the light and dark aspects of the holiday season and sometimes err to one side or another. And most frequently, they are too long.
All of these things are true about the History Theatre’s current production of “Christmas of Swing.” …[There are] a lot of ingredients in the stew, and while the recipe can be both sweet and savory, the flavors of this collation don’t always blend and balance well.
I don’t need Hamlet from my holiday shows, but I want to be engaged enough that I can sink in and go to a different place for a couple of hours. That happens occasionally in Christmas of Swing — the letters home are often very effective — but I could have replicated that with an anthology of World War II writings and some Andrews Sisters 78s.
“Christmas of Swing” runs through December 23 at the History Theatre in downtown St. Paul.
Have you seen “Christmas of Swing?” If so, what’s your review?