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Montecito Journal Reviews Hallelujah Project 2

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Hallelujah Project 2 Lobero Theatre December 13/14, 2014

Longtime music director JoAnne Wasserman was in her element when the Santa Barbara Choral Society played its second annual The Hallelujah! Project at the Lobero.

The sold-out concert, which of course included Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, was a wonderful Yuletide miscellany of seasonal cheer featuring the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus, under executive director Paul Freeman, and actress Stephanie Zimbalist, doing a delightful rocking chair rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, narrated last year by Montecito best-selling author Fannie Flagg, wonderfully attired in flannelette pajamas.

SBCS HP 2014 Stephanie Zimbalist, JoAnne Wasserman, and Karen WilliamsStephanie is a regular performer in our Eden by the Beach, having acted with the Ensemble Theatre in the Kate Hepburn one-woman play Tea at Five, The Lion in Winter, and, last year, the New Vic’s debut production, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

The show kicked off with Personent Hodie, Bach’s “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”, another version, by English composer John Rutter and the music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, before wrapping with the “Wassail Carol” and “Sleighride”. Afterward Stephanie, the choir, and top patrons attended a reception in a tented locale behind the theater. The big question: Who will fill the rocking chair next year?