Sarah Kaye expects to feel like Santa Claus when old Saint Nick delivers his last gift during the “Christmas Wonderland” show Saturday (12/22) at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids.
That performance will be the final show for the tour, which began last month.
“It’s been non-stop for us since we started two days after Thanksgiving,” Kaye said by phone from Indianapolis. “It’s been a lot of dancing for me, but it’s been amazing.
“It’s been a lot to deal with going from state to state, but it was a great way to spend the end of this year. I think we’ve hit 14 states. But it’s worth it, since the response to what we are doing has been tremendous. There just isn’t a lot of shows like this happening around the country.”
“Christmas Wonderland” is an elaborate holiday show, which features singing, dancing and pageantry, reminiscent of the Rockettes. Kaye, the show’s dance captain, grew up in New Jersey and her family exposed her to the magic of that high-kicking troupe.
“We have kick lines like the Rockettes in the show,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to see the Rockettes live and there are some similarities with what we do.”
The show also features production numbers with such Christmas classics as “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.”
It also has some quirky numbers, like a holiday version of “Zorba the Greek.”
“That song is in our ‘Around the World’ section,” Kaye said. “We took a non-Christmas song and put a Christmas twist on it. It’s a fun part of the show. This is not a by-the-book kind of show. We toss some curves into the mix. Our take is that if it’s entertaining, it might just fit. It’s a fun, mixed bag. We have iconic songs, medleys, mashups. There are solo moments, there’s quieter parts of the show and noisier parts of the show. We’ve covered all the bases.”
The event wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa Claus.
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“This show wouldn’t be what it is without the big man coming into the house,” Kaye said. “You’ll have Santa Claus and all of these adults bopping around. It’ll be like something you’ve never seen before.”
Portions of the show are interactive.
“Part of the fun of this is getting the audience involved,” she said. “We have a song in which the audience claps along. We clap out ‘Jingle Bells’ in its entirety. I’ve never seen any production try to do that. It’s certainly different. You have to see it to believe it.”
“Christmas Wonderland” has a serious side, too.
“We remind people that there is a reason for the season,” Kaye said. “There’s a reason for the origin of Christmas. It’s not just about giving gifts and having 18 side dishes. This season is about love and positive energy. We can’t wait to celebrate Christmas. It’s the most amazing time of the year.”
The Kaye will spend the holiday in Iowa for the first time.
“I’m going to finally be in Marshalltown with my baby nephews,” she said. “The coolest thing is that they are going to see me perform for the first time. I love that we’re concluding the tour in Cedar Rapids in a beautiful old theater. The Paramount is a special place. It’s a throwback. The people from Cedar Rapids should know that it’s a one-of-a-kind theater.
“I’m also excited since Cedar Rapids screams Christmas, since it will feel like winter. I’ll have a ton of friends and family in the audience since Iowa is where my in-laws live,” she said.
“It’ll be a memorable Christmas for me and we hope the show makes it a very memorable Christmas for everyone who comes out.”
WHAT: “Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular
WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
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WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (12/22)
TICKETS: $35 to $65, Paramount Ticket Office, (319) 366-8203 or Paramounttheatrecr.com