“Elysium” is another word for “Heaven,” and this Friday, the Elysium Cabaret celebrated the holy holidays with a show that was both dazzling and divine. Host Paul Woodrunner was in especially warm spirits on this Winter weekend night, a bit more jolly as he greeted the crowds that came through The Empire Room door. DJ Gunner von Phoenix commanded the show over the PA, and wove together all the merry melodies of each act with humor and heart-warming holiday wishes. It was a wonderful affair, most of all thanks to the dances that dazzled the audience: Some silly, some sacred and all of them so very special – a perfect recipe for an Elysium Cabaret Christmas treat.
Act One: Babypea – A Christmas Alleluia – Chris Tomlin (Live) ft. Lauren Daigle, Leslie Jordan
Divine splendor was shown in full spectrum by Babypea, who presented a truly glorious Christmas story. Her lone dance in divine white began dancing, as if the evening star itself, before the scene of a nativity manger. Set with the assembly from Christ’s birth, the scene of dark background and stark images soon gave way to a heavenly vista with light effects that were amazing in detail and awesome in intensity. It was as spectacular a celebration of the Christmas day’s holy beginnings as ever graced the stage.
Act Two: Sendar with Eva – Nutrocker – Trans Siberian Orchestra
The second act was strikingly personal and splendid in its composition – a debut by Sendar that dedicated itself to expressing devotion and gratitude, to God and to all those who were blessings in his life. Set by the altar of a church and lit by the glorious stained glass window, Sendar’s dance were sewn with statements announcing his desire to please God with dance and all the kind acts of his life. This outstanding breakdancing routine concluded with a rousing declaration of thanks for those who’ve blessed his journey.
Act Three: Misha with Nadi and Luna – Where Are You Christmas – Faith Hill
The night then moved from the snow-decked outdoors, with Misha’s celebration of the finer qualities of a Winter Wonderland. As snow fell and ice skaters swirled on a frozen lake, the crowd’s imagination was woven into Misha’s seamless vision of a snowy Christmas lakeside scene. A welcome frolic in a frosty forest with artful ice skating and happy melodies really hit the spot for the crowd.
Act Four: Gunner with Babypea, Paul and Jo – I Hate People -Leslie Bricusse (Scrooge the Musical)
No Christmas would be complete without a grinch to grouse about it, and Gunner played the role ideally, decked out as the classic model – Scrooge himself. Dancing through the settings of the Dickens Christmas Story, Scrooge has never looked more spry, singing in tune with “I Hate People.” There was a lot for the audience to love in this charming, cantankerous romp with the old codger, envisioned to cranky perfection by Gunner.
Act Five: Selene with Yukio and Azure – Carol of the Bells – Christmas Metal Songs
Selene’s Santa helpers put on a show about how nice it is to be naughty – a paradox that’s dear to the heart of the Elysium Cabaret and that was presented in an exquisite parlor, decked for Christmas. In front of a majestic tree, wreathes and mantle, girls dressed in red corsets and fur trim danced in a way that managed to be both merry and sexy. It was all about fun and frolics, holiday style, and Selene put on a spectacle that didn’t lack in either – or in exquisite detail.
Act Six: Corri with FT, Zach, Ame and Ray – Leroy the Redneck Reindeer – Joe Diffe
The humor and high spirits continued, taking the audience all the way up to the North Pole, for Corri’s rendition of a little-known Christmas ballad about a redneck reindeer! As Santa and his crew of elves bounced and spun about a terrific depiction of Saint Nick’s famous frozen home, the reindeer in overalls, complete with pickup truck, led the choreography. A fun number through and through, it was a gift for the audience full of cleverness, amazing costuming and remarkable staging.
Act Seven: Eva with Cowgrl, Rosewan, Monavie, Ariel Arrowmint, Nadi and Lexi – Celtic Carol – Lindsey Stirling
Our holiday revue switched from the redneck to the refined, as Eva’s act took us to a Victorian toy store set in a town from Dickens, for a romp of the toys. Amid giant gift boxes, girls clad in traditional Teutonic dresses danced as playthings come alive. So many of the X-mas hallmarks were present on the stage – gas lamp buildings, falling snow, dancing dolls – bringing us a scene straight from a storybook that had all the delights the audience could hope for.
Act Eight: Ame (Crowd Dance) – Shake Up Christmas (Train), Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (Pentatonix), Let It Snow/What’s It Gonna Be, Santa (Chicago)
The stage then shifted, readying for the crowd dance, courtesy of Ame. Upon a wintry field, the audience joined the Elysium Cabaret dancers as one family, and stepped in time to an exotic selection of holiday tunes. Togetherness, gratefulness, glamour – the Elysium Cabaret Christmas show had it all.
We hope to bring you even more spectacular displays and splendid times in the year ahead. You are dear to us, and inspire what we do. May you have only the best of holiday seasons, a merry Christmas and a sensational 2017!
Photos by Storm Wylde, Goddess Shayna and Michael Romani.