‘Christmas Inn’ reminiscent of holiday musical classics

Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 By: Phyllis A.S. Boros Source: CT Post

Jayson Elliott recently has come to love spending half the year in the Caribbean, performing aboard Disney cruise ships. But when it comes to the holidays, he is happy to be back in the chilly Northeast — at the Broadway Westchester Theatre in Elmsford, N.Y.

“It’s a bit like coming home,” said the actor/singer/dancer who has performed at the dinner theater in numerous shows, adding that he enjoys a great relationship with its staff, crew and artistic directors.

 Elliott has returned to  Westchester Broadway for an updated version ofChristmas Inn,” an original production the theater premiered in the 1980s. “It’s been freshened up ... and for the most part, set in upstate New York” during the recent past. The musical also makes a time-travel stop to the early 20th century.

Elliott, 38, stars as Buddy and Liam Baker, the old-time vaudeville star and his present-day great-grandson. Kilty Reidy plays the other half of the team, past and present: Bill Brewer and Patrick O’Brewer. The show features a “smaller, ensemble cast.” “We’re all on stage most of the time,” he said.
The musical, which runs through Dec. 23, focuses on the feuding relationship between a former two-man team of celebrity performers from vaudeville in the first half of the 20th century. Each of the entertainers wants to take credit for breaking up the act decades ago, Elliott said. The show is primarily set a few days before the holiday at the Christmas Inn, where the families of Baker and Brewer have gathered for entirely different reasons.

The musical features book and original lyrics by Kathy Keating Wheeler and Bob Fitzsimmons, with original music and arrangements by Steven Silverstein. Elliott said 20 traditional Christmas carols are incorporated, as well.

It’s “an evening of holiday music, laughter and a poignant story filled with Christmas magic as the supporting players and the families of the feuding stars reunite", according to a news release.

Based in New York City, Elliott (who was born and raised in Indiana) said it’s always a pleasure to perform at the “gem of a theater, where audiences can enjoy Broadway-caliber shows.”

Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford, N.Y. Through Friday, Dec. 23, with lunch and dinner performances Wednesday through Sunday. $84-$56. 914-592-2222, BroadwayTheatre.com