“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” at the Good Theater in Portland. The theater once again spread a hearty dose of cheer with its sold-out holiday benefit show, “Broadway at Good Theater.”

This year’s performance featured Broadway stars Christopher Pecoraro and Kenita Miller. He is known for his Broadway performance as Chris in “Miss Saigon.” She starred for over three years as Miss Celie in “The Color Purple,” first on Broadway, then in the National Tour.

Pecoraro and Company opened the 27-song, two-act performance Saturday with “Heart and Music” from “A New Brain.” The vocalists mingled on stage as if greeting age-old friends at a holiday party.

Twelve songs followed, with each of the 12 vocalists getting an opportunity to showcase his/her talents.

Marie Dittmer and Michael Wood perpetuated the holiday feel, adding decorations to a Christmas tree while dueting on “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.”

Then, Bethann Renaud delivered a deep, rich-voice performance of “A Place Called Home” from “A Christmas Carol.”

For the next four songs, it was off to Broadway for a wonderfully varied collection: “In My Own Little Corner” from “Cinderella” (Grace Bradford); “Been a Long Day” from “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (Todd Daley, Dittmer and Jen Means); “Chain Store Daisy” from “Pins and Needles” (Amy Roche); and “You’re There Too” from “In the Beginning” (Daley).

Good Theater favorite Lynne McGhee was listed in the program as performing in both acts, but did not make an appearance.

The audience was not left wanting. Renaud filled in for McGhee in the second act, and Miller delivered a special duet with her husband, Justin Hicks, on one of his original songs.

Miller also wowed the audience with a soulful “God Bless the Child” and a bluesy “Kiss Me Santa.”

Pecoraro enchanted the audience with a moving rendition of “A Bit of Earth” from “The Secret Garden.”

The final two songs in the first act were a crowd-pleasing “The Christmas Blues” by Benjamin Row and Stephen Underwood and a diverting “Mama Says” (“Footloose”) from Erik Moody and Company.

Another 14 songs were on tap for the audience’s listening pleasure in Act Two.

Pecoraro continued to delight patrons with “Do You Hear What I Hear,” backed by Bradford, Dittmer and Renaud, and “Why God Why” from “Miss Saigon.”

Miller once again dazzled the audience with her soulful styling on “The Color Purple” before the entire company closed out the show with a hilarious rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” with Good Theater’s artistic director, Brian P. Allen, pantomiming the 12 gifts.

Highlights from Act Two included “Tonight at Eight” (“She Loves Me”) by Wood, “Never Fall in Love With An Elf” (“Elf”) by Dittmer, “One Hundred Easy Ways” (“Wonderful Town”) by Means, “Screwed Up People” (“Striking 12”) by Moody and a thoroughly entertaining “I Remember It Well” (“Gigi”) by Allen and Underwood.

“Broadway at Good Theater” provided an intimate performance of Broadway show tunes and Christmas songs, both classic and modern that got the holiday spirit flowing. If you missed the production this year, be sure to catch it next time around.

April Boyle is a freelance writer from Casco. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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