So Many Stars Review – A Holiday Music Box

Cast of SO MANY STARS - Photo by Carlos Hernandez
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As days get shorter and evening come sooner, you know that it’s beginning to look a lot like the season of holidays. If you look up at the rapidly darkening sky, you will see so many stars – the inspiration for Theatre West’s tribute to the rapidly approaching holiday season. Other parts of the U.S. may have snow and ice to decorate December – but we in Southern California continue to have balmy days and crisp evenings to welcome the holidays. Not a snowflake in sight. But SO MANY STARS is about so much more than just the season. Through the medium of music – traditional, timeless, and extra special – SO MANY STARS celebrates the joy of life itself.

Scottie Nevil, Harleigh Ford, and Alyssa Rupert – Photo by Carlos Hernandez

Director Victoria Lavan has just the right words to forever bind together music, stars, and all of us: “I have always thought that we human beings were a bit like stars, unique, indiscernible, so far away yet bright and shining…offering small specks of light in an otherwise dark universe. Stars and people can be magical, mystical, evoke memory, inspire love, connection, and comfort when we experience loss and hope as we heal. Stars and light are cherished symbols of every holiday tradition human beings celebrate this time of year.”

Vertreace Sanders – Photo by Carlos Hernandez

Musical theater at Theatre West was started and shepherded by the late, great Betty Garrett, one of the famed MGM musical stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Now this musical legacy is carried on by Victoria Lavan, who conceived and directed this musical entertainment. Stars abound as they vocalize our fondest wishes and dreams for the holidays – including Paul Cady, Bryce Charles, Harleigh Ford, Charles Johnson, Constance Mellors, Scottie Nevil, Alyssa Rupert, Vertreace Sanders, Rick Simone-Friedland, Jalen Ty’ron, Michael Van Duzer, and Victoria Lavan. The music inspiring their voices to flourish include Bill Von Ravensburg, Pete Snell, James Varley, Mara Wells, and music director/keyboardist James Lent. Let’s not forget lighting by Michael Lee and sound by David P. Johnson, who help illuminate the feelings behind the lyrics through their artful skills.

Rick Simone-Friedman, Harleigh Ford, and Bryce Charles – Photo by Carlos Hernandez

The song list includes many all-time favorites, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Joy to the World,” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” From gentle to belting out loud, this palette of songs will inspire, delight, and entertain. It’s time to celebrate the holidays.

Scottie Nevil, Conzstance Mellors, Michael Van Duzer, and Paul Cady – Photo by Carlos Hernandez

SO MANY STARTS runs through December 10, 2023, with performances at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Tickets are $40 (if purchased in advance online $35; seniors/students/military $30). For information and reservations, call 323-851-7977 or go online.

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