Special holiday concert pays tribute to Karen Carpenter

Special holiday concert pays tribute to Karen Carpenter

Special holiday concert pays tribute to Karen Carpenter
Laurie Roldan

WALNUT CREEK, CA (Nov. 21, 2022) — After lighting up the stage last November, local actress and singer Laurie Roldan will be returning to the Lesher Center for the Arts Dec. 1-2 for an even more apropos and colorful program of Christmas favorites from Karen Carpenter.

I reviewed her 2021 show and suggested that my readers attend the thoroughly delightful evening of romantic, touching and heartfelt music.

Due to anorexia, Carpenter died long before she should have. Fortunately, her music never grows old, nor does it become less enchanting. Almost as quickly as I received the news of Roldan’s new show, I searched my computer for some of my favorite Carpenter songs. As a broad selection of songs appeared on my screen, I once again sought out more of that sweet, gentle voice with familiar lyrics that always made me smile.

While listening to her songs, including “Close to You,” quickly followed by “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “We’ve Only Just Begun” trailing right behind, the memories of happier days returned.

After the trials and tribulations of these past three years, it sounds nice to simply sit back and relax, immersing myself in some happy sonorous sounds ushering in the refreshing excitement and joy of the oncoming holidays.

Now that my tickets for this Christmas musical treat are secured, happy memories are once again welcome – rolling like gentle waves through the hallways of my mind.

Christmas hits

What is especially sweet in this production is Roldan’s soft, poignant, velvety voice that melds so perfectly with the temper and similarly velvety voice of Karen Carpenter during her 13-year musical reign in the ’70s and ’80s.

This program includes some of Carpenter’s greatest Christmas hits, including “The Christmas Waltz,” “Merry Christmas Darling,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Do Your Hear What I Hear” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – all bearing witness to the singer’s fantastical and dreamlike favorites.

This delightful cabaret concert features guest musicians John Brown, Ben Chau-chiu, Ashley Cowl, Ashley Houts, Krista Strader on harp and Joyce Lee on violin.

“Laurie Sings a Christmas Song for You” will be at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, and 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Vukasin Theatre at 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets are $35. Visit www.lesherartscenter.org.

Charlie Jarrett
Charlie Jarrett

Charles Jarrett is a journalist, photographer and voice-over artist. He is a member of the San Francisco Theater Critics Circle. His reviews appear frequently in the Orinda News, Martinez Gazette and Rossmoor News.