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NOOOOOOOO! I had high hopes for Ensemble Theatre’s “A Soulful Christmas” when I went to check it out with a cousin from Boston, MA during opening week. We both came to the conclusion that the play wasn’t all that! With the exception of the two kids (Jannah & Trenton), there was hardly any LIFE in the show….or atleast in Act 1. A lot of the choreography came across as corny rather than soulful. I felt like I was watching a Kids Bop version of all of our favorite urban holiday classics.


During intermission, my grade for the cast & crew was a C-. Thank goodness for Act 2 though; the team redeemed themselves and I corrected their final score, which moved them up an entire letter grade. Act 2 had a lot more fire, high-energy and all of the soooooul that Act 1 was missing.

A Soulful Christmas

Houston Chronicle / Gary Fountain

The grandmother was one of the characters who made me FEEL like she embodied every word of her solo songs: “Don’t Mean A Thing” & “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good.”

When the Temptaions performed “Silent Night” the audience went wild! I think that part of the show was the fans’ favorite!

The girls who performed “Oh Santa” had me cracking up; especially when Jannah started hitting the moves too! lol


The actor who performed “This Christmas” did an awesome job. It seems like he sings without even putting any effort into it…and that’s a good thing. BRAVO!

TLC performing “Sleigh Bells” was a big surprise to me; they nailed the costumes and dance moves on this one. I really felt like we took a trip back to that era.


At the end of the day, I know first hand how much work goes into putting on a major production.  I’ve been in movies with Brad Pitt, toured with David E. Talbert and performed in over 30 shows. You all brought me to church at the end and lifted my spirits, so I guess that’s all that really matters! I wish you many more great years, Ensemble! Love Ya!

-Amir Diamond

Final Grade: B+

Jannah & Trenton: A+++++ :-) Ya’ll were my favorite.

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