December 16, 2020
Beguiling Liz Callaway delivers early gifts in her intimate Home for the Holidays
By John Busbee for The Culture Buzz
With her holiday muse in full seasonal regalia, Liz Callaway brings a delectable banquet of treats for our hearts, ears and souls. Home for the Holidays radiates with a masterful intimacy and allure as Callaway delivers a blend of spice, delicacy and homespun memories in what critics may very well consider one of the new “instant classics” for future holidays.
An Emmy Award winner, Tony Award nominee, multiple albums musical master, Callaway warmly recalls a favorite career moment; when she performed the singing voice of the title character in the animated gem, Anastasia. During this all-too-quickly passing 70-minute show, she shares one of her favorite “Anya” songs, sure to melt the frost from any icy soul.
Welcoming her audience with a bouncy version of “We Need a Little Christmas” is a wonderful invitation to immerse into a show filled with gratitude and musical enchantment. Callaway is personable, warm and shares touchstones many will quickly embrace. She lightly sprinkles this show with personal anecdotes and reflections, adding another enticing layer bonding performers to audience. Like unexpected prizes carefully folded into the program are some less familiar tunes, such her velvety version of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”
Performers is accurate, as Callaway has a most elegant musician on the keyboards, Joseph Thalken. Underscoring the lushness of Callaway’s voice with seamless piano accompaniment, Thalken provides a wonderful surprise when he adds his vocals to her rendition of “Joy to the World.” This song will deliver that chill factor as their singing will make hearts soar and spirits glow.
Her recent acoustic Christmas album features master guitarist Peter Calo, who joins Callaway for a sampling from this brilliant collection. His deft touch on the strings coupled with her expressive voice lull the audience into a blissful state.
To describe Callaway’s seasonally seductive song styling in Home for the Holidays would be to limit the depth and breadth of her abilities to layer a song with rich context. She presents a wide range of styles and delivery, texturing the flow of her show in vibrant vocal colorations. She even adds an honorific dash to Charlie Brown, complete with her very own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, plus she coaxes Thalken to share the Linus and Lucy theme.
This is a concert to cherish in the comforts of your own home, with family, friends and loved ones. Take a 70-minute step off of the treadmill of life, and slip into a welcoming musical wonderland of gorgeous singing, masterful instrumentalists, and an unfiltered appreciation for the good things that this special season evokes. Be quick, though – this gem is only available through December 18.
The Culture Buzz theatre reviews are written by professional critics, to inform and enlighten. To receive weekly newsletters, email TheCultureBuzz@gmail.com or visit www.theculturebuzz.com. The Culture Buzz is a weekly broadcast/streaming arts & entertainment show, airing Wednesdays 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Central Time on KFMG 98.9 FM and streaming at www.kfmg.org.