Broadway World, by Debbie Hall, photo by Don Cadette - Saturday, November 21, 2020
Sally Olson as Karen Carpenter and Ned Mills as Richard Carpenter recreate memories from Carpenters' television specials from the 1970s.
The holiday season is here, and it's time to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas. Sally Olson as Karen Carpenter and Ned Mills as Richard Carpenter star in Carpenters Tribute Concert: A Christmas Portrait for one night recreating the nostalgia of the Carpenters' 1977 and 1978 Christmas television specials. Limited seating is available at The Space LV with live streaming via Broadway On Demand on Nov. 28.
The show will feature the holiday classics "Merry Christmas, Darling," "Sleigh Ride," and "The Christmas Song" as well as many of the Carpenters' greatest hits. Musicians include Cliff Workman (drums subbing for John Plows), Matt Baldoni (guitar), and Jim D'Arrigo (sax, flute, and clarinet). Ned arranged the show with much of the music never published.
Carpenters Tribute Concert: A Christmas Portrait features a powerful live band, historical commentary, incredible arrangements, and video while taking audiences on an extraordinary journey down memory lane into the world of the Carpenters.
"When putting together the Christmas show, we wanted to present a more authentic feel," explains Sally. "The Carpenters really didn't perform a Christmas show tour. Fans, however, remember their two television Christmas specials. The 1977 show was The Carpenters at Christmas, and the 1978 show was The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait. When I put together the first version of the Christmas show in 2017, I based it on the two TV specials and created a show with only Christmas music."
However, when Ned and Sally talked about the show, they decided it would be more interesting to perform some of The Carpenters' classic hits for variety. The show is about 70 percent holiday music with 30 percent hits. There is also a big video production to recreate the television specials' atmosphere along with costume changes and many (laughs Ned) vintage commercials.
The Carpenters transformed music in the 1970s and '80s as one of the biggest-selling American acts as their legacy lives on. Sally creates a fantastic representation of Karen Carpenter, including authentic hairstyles, makeup, vintage costumes, gestures, and stunning voice. Sally is the first-ever Karen Carpenter tribute artist to perform with the show Legends in Concert. A pianist, singer, and entertainer, Ned Mills began playing piano at the age of four and has entertained audiences in over 20 countries and on three continents.
Neither Carpenters Tribute Concert nor Sally has ever performed at The Space LV. Ned was the pianist for the Frank Sinatra tribute show performed by Dave Halston of Tribute Masters, who is now producing this special live-streamed debut performance of Carpenters Tribute Concert: A Christmas Portrait.
"This is the time to celebrate Christmas, tradition, and family," says Ned. "This show is a great way to enjoy the holiday season and lift everyone's spirits."
Sally and Ned will be on the road to Dallas/Fort Worth area to perform the Christmas show at the Palace Theater in Grapevine, Texas, on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, also presented by Tribute Masters.
Carpenters Tribute Concert: A Christmas Portrait Presented by Tribute Masters and Broadway On Demand will be performed at The Space, 3460 Cavarette Court, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 28. For tickets, call the box office at (702) 903-1070 or purchase online by clicking here. Due to COVID-19, seating is limited to 48 tickets in the theater, so live streaming is available. For Broadway On Demand live stream passes, click here to purchase. For WALE (We Are Live Entertainment) Rocks live stream passes, click here to purchase.