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Country Tonite Christmas show 2010 is all jazzed up

By Knoxville Daily Sun Staff

skylar mcallister
Skylar McAllister, singer at Country Tonite's Christmas Show

Set in a beautiful theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Country Tonite's Christmas Show mixes comedy with audience participation, singing, dancing, gospel, patriotism and very serious jazzed up versions of popular Christmas favorites. The show is accented with an incredible band featuring Ronnie Spann on keyboards and harmonica player Mike Caldwell.

country tonite bubba

Bubba (Chan Mullinax) plays a redneck ranger who's eager to get in the show itself. He gets the crowd to support him with audience participation: the audience is cued by Bubba before the show begins and he uses hand signals to tell the audience to "ewwww" and "ahhhhhhh" at key moments. Later he crashes different parts of the show in an attempt to prove himself worthy. By far the funniest was a ballerina skit in which he crashes from center stage disguised as a ballerina demanding his right to be in the show. They finally give him a chance, and the audience doesn't have any trouble concluding that Bubba is certainly NOT a ballerina.

country tonite

Wonderfully hosted by Kevin Wilson, this two hr show is broken down into two one-hour parts and a 15-minute break between. The first part is centered on country music favorites such as Rocky Top, and the second part is the Christmas Show.

One of the key singers, 13 year old Skyler McAllister, was a bit overused. I couldn't help but wonder if the young man's voice and energy was going to hold up. Kevin Wilson stated how grateful Country Tonite was to have him; however, the gratitude is a bit over-shown and exposed.

country tonite

I felt the touching rendition of Oh Holy Night capped with Go Tell It On The Mountain would be the highlights, but topping those was an outstanding performance of Amazing Grace.

The seating was comfortable, the lights and backdrop were beautiful and the entire event was a wonderful escape welcoming us all to share in a Tennessee Country Christmas.

Published November 15, 2010

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