If you like spectacular holiday shows, you don’t need to go to Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Just head to Tropicana Atlantic City for its Holiday Jubilee, Sunday, Nov. 19, through Friday, Dec. 22.
It won’t disappoint, assures Kevin Jeffries, a producer and performer in the show.
“Holiday Jubilee is quite a spectacular production,” he says. “There’s eye candy, music, specialty acts, special effects, color, lights. It’s got every bell and whistle you can imagine.”
Appropriate for all ages, the Holiday Jubilee features singers, dancers, illusionists and an aerialist, all of whom create a one-of-kind holiday experience for spectators.
“This show has a lot of ‘wow’ moments,” Jeffries says. “And it has a few surprises that I don’t want to give away,” he adds, coyly.
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Last year, Holiday Jubilee opened to rave reviews. Because it was so well received, Tropicana is staging the show again, with some changes and additions, says Jeffries.
“We will have repeat customers,” he says. “We want to keep the show fresh and exciting for people who’ve seen it and for those who haven’t.”
Among the changes are the addition of aerialist Hellevi Woodman, who will fly, twirl and swing above the stage, dazzling audiences with her athletic prowess and artistry.
The magic act, too, will be longer this year.
“It went over so well last year,” says Jeffries, who is an illusionist with the act Kevin and Caruso. Woodman will also be part of the magic act, another addition to this year’s Holiday Jubilee.
Male dancers, a new playlist of holiday favorites and magical sets complete the changes set for this year’s show, which lasts about an hour.
It’s show time
When Jeffries spoke to At the Shore, the truck had just arrived at Tropicana with all of the equipment to build the sets. There’s excitement in Jeffries’ voice as he shares a behind-the-scenes look at producing a show of this caliber.
The 14 performers have been rehearsing on Tropicana’s stage for two weeks prior to opening on Sunday. Being able to rehearse on the performance stage is a luxury that often doesn’t happen, says Jeffries.
“Most times, we rehearse in a studio, and the dimensions of the studio may not be the exact dimensions of the stage,” Jeffries says. When the performers move to the stage, they often have to make adjustments to accommodate differences between the two spaces.
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As professionals, the performers can do this, but rehearsing on the Tropicana stage eliminates guesswork and makes the performers feel at home right away.
Because carpenters are building the sets, the performers may hear hammering and electric screwdrivers. But rather than distract, the sounds generate enthusiasm: the show is getting ready to go up, and everyone is part of it.
For Jeffries, who wrote Holiday Jubilee, the thrill is in the doing. “I get to perform what I create,” he says. “To see it come to life in front of an audience is such a motivating force. I love performing.”
And based on Jeffries’ account of Holiday Jubilee, audiences are sure to love watching.