Is holiday stress getting you down? Pandemic isolation making you blue? Well, then I’ve got the cure for you. What you need is a shot of Christmas and Camille Metoyer Moten brings it to you in spades with Christmas In My Heart: A Concert Featuring Camille Metoyer Moten. This streaming performance is courtesy of the Omaha Community Playhouse.
I think what I love most about Christmas is its simple beauty and that sums up this concert. There’s nothing flashy or showy about it. It’s as if Metoyer Moten has simply invited you into her home for a fun night of Christmas cheer. And if you love Christmas music, then this will most assuredly be a show for you with Christmas tunes ranging from traditional carols, sacred hymns and even an original or two.
Camille Metoyer Moten is the total package as a singer. She has a crystal clear alto voice. A warm, welcoming presence that fills the theatre. And animation that adds that little cherry to the sundae of her performance. So absorbed will you become with her golden voice that you’ll find yourself swaying and singing along with the music.
Metoyer Moten opened the night with a ringing rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and the night only went up from there. Personal favorite numbers were her haunting take on “Mary, Did You Know?”, the sweet “Christmas Lullaby”, a vulnerable and beautiful recitation of some of her Christmas memories that segued into “Joy to the World” and her closing with the Judy Garland classic, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
Metoyer Moten didn’t come alone and her friends helped further enliven the night. Her sister, Lanette Moore, shared the wonderful short story Mary’s Precious Little Lamb. John Morrissey gave an energetic performance of one of my favorite Christmas tunes, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Paul Tranisi’s powerful baritone mesmerized with “Christmas Love Song”. Dave Wingert supplied a bit of humor with the mirthful “Another Christmas Song”. And Kathy Tyree kicked things up a notch with her cover of the Yuletide rocker “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”.
Metoyer Moten was backed by a highly talented three piece band featuring David Murphy on piano, Mark Haar on bass and Mannheim Steamroller drummer, Joey Gulizia on percussion. The trio even got its own moment to shine with a musical version of “O Christmas Tree”. Susie Baer-Collins staged the concert with impeccable flair. Jim Othuse sets the stage with a Christmas tree and holly along with some gorgeous lighting from wintery blue to festive red.
So take a little time to revisit the fun and faith of Christmas with the music of Camille Metoyer Moten. It’s balm for a weary spirit.
Christmas In My Heart: A Concert Featuring Camille Metoyer Moten is available for streaming from the Omaha Community Playhouse through January 3, 2021. Tickets begin at $30 and the show can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com/events/ocp.
Photo provided by Richardson Photography