Mariah Carey’s New York ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ Spectacular At The Beacon Theatre, Friday, December 16th, 2016, Reviewed
The staff are used to it and treat it like the eccentricity of a beloved maiden Aunt as opposed to the ego flexing of a diva. When will Mariah Carey hit the stage for the third annual, eighth performance of a nine concert run, at last night’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” spectacular? Nobody knows. The doors are at 7, the show should start at 8. One night she managed to appear at a wide eyed and bushy tailed 840pm, but some nights the audience have had to wait till nearly ten o’clock. With most people this would be hubristic preening, but with Mariah it is just how business is conducted.
How could a woman with an assistant whose main job is to help Mariah put on her heels be such a lovable dope? As we speak, the latest gossip from Mariah found her refusing to give back a $10M engagement and requesting a $50M settlement from her ex-fiance while hooking up with one of her dancers, still you could never imagine the woman firing a maid for looking at her. There is an ineffable gentleness about the singer. The 47 year old diva is just so damn sweet.
The sweetness, along with a desperately sexy body which makes Mariah look like a transgendered person (I mean a drag queen but I’m not sure you can say that anymore) who accentuates their femininity to transforming proportions and, of course, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” -the last new Christmas song to join the pantheon, and her two Christmas albums, has changed the woman into a Christmas pixie with a show that captures the heart of the season, without being an asshole about it all.
We got Mimi at 908pm last night and she performed for 90 minutes, a high as the sky set of carols, sometimes given a gospel feel, Christmas pop songs, three oldies, and the big time hit. With a cast of around 40, including dancers and children, a Santa Claus throwing gifts to the audience, and Mariah with four costume changes and nothing but good vibes, Mariah went for the high notes here and there and was never out of her element. One of her greatest charms is how she makes the godlike human, her large smallness, and how it interacts with her fans. The audience went from tiny children to 60 something older couples, it cut clear across every demo, and was such a rousing, good will spectacle the orchestra stood up at the top and didn’t sit down.
I’ve seen Mariah twice before, once at Radio City Music Hall during her greatest artistic moment, The Emancipation Of Mimi, and once a New Year’s Eve gig at MSG (my pan here) in 2010, a gig so bad it took me SIX YEARS to dare and see her again. This was in the middle, featuring early tableaux (“A Charlie Brown Christmas”?), boundless energetic kids who seriously need a dose of ritalin, back up singers to join Mariah’s ALL LIVE ALL THE TIME singing. There were weak spots, her “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ that can’t compare to Darlene Love’s (which figures) but also can’t compare to U2’s version (which doesn’t figure). But they are rarities, her “Joy To The World” was a one woman choir, the three oldies, “Emotions” a showstopping “We Belong Together” and crowd pleasing “Hero” were all better than the entire New Year’s Eve gig combined. And the title track to take us home was perfection.
There are worse ways to celebrate the season… just about any come to think of it, all you want for Christmas is Mariah, so get her next year.