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Variety: Chicken Soup For The Soul

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Chicken Soup For The Soul

Variety Magazine

This feel-good holiday program offers a solid portion of chicken schmaltz. Despite marvelous actors who make the performances enjoyable, the emotionally manipulative writing and music, combined with clichéd plots, make it a tedious hour.

Leeza Gibbons handily hosts a series of vignettes offering themes of love, hope and inspiration. She’s friendly, uncomplicated, wholesome, graceful and believable. She seems comfortable but a bit isolated on the large set. The lighting and Dan Slider’s music contribute to a seasonal atmosphere.

Individual pieces reflect excellent production values. In ‘Puppies for Sale,’ Jack Lemmon demonstrates why he is such a great actor, a master of the telling small gesture that conveys a complex character. Martin Sheen and Charles Durning are delightful as fatefully matched hospital patients in ‘The Window,’ well-written by Mary Francis from a George Target story. ‘Cookie Thief’ is wonderfully directed by Hayma Washington, who gets a standout performance from Paula Abdul and an engaging nonverbal portrayal from Ben Seigler.

By: Joan Van Tassel