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Line concert a family treat

Lorie Line hoped her 2007 touring show "The Glory of Christmas" would give audience members a fresh view of Christ's birth. Why Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra presented the biblical story wearing colonial attire - women in hooped gowns, men i...

Lorie Line and her orchestra perform Sunday

Lorie Line hoped her 2007 touring show "The Glory of Christmas" would give audience members a fresh view of Christ's birth.

Why Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra presented the biblical story wearing colonial attire - women in hooped gowns, men in white wigs and waistcoats - was more confusing than enlightening. Still, the show - a blend of familiar carols and hymns, beautifully performed music and much theatrics - was a crowd-pleaser for the roughly 2,500 fans filling the Fargodome's Gate City Theatre on Sunday afternoon.

Line's family-friendly concerts are all about the extras - the costumes, choreographed dance numbers and arranged instrumentals - and this year is no different.

Line took the stage in a voluminous blue dress, channeled Mary and Cleopatra, and closed out the show in a sparkling copper gown.

Dance numbers and impressive stage lighting also added to the visual feast. The simplistic but beautiful set featured four-pointed stars, lighted trees and Line's white grand piano as the focal point.

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But throughout the show, Line shared the spotlight with the eight-member Pop Chamber Orchestra, often serving as little more than accompanist.

It would have been nice to hear more from Line. Her adeptness on the keys didn't have a chance to shine.

The clear, operatic voice of mezzo soprano Christina Baldwin, in her debut year with Line, awed on "Ave Maria," but was drowned out and almost shrill later on.

Tim Line, Lorie's husband, provided the comedic relief throughout the show, drawing plenty of laughs, and groans, particularly when, as Joseph, he referred to Mary's "bun in the oven," who would take away sins, as a "sin-a-bun."

Audience participation was a key component of the show, as they jingled bells to a rock version of "Deck the Halls" and "Joy to the World." The highlight was "The Twelve Days of Christmas." About 100 children from the audience flooded the stage, most donning costumes to become the 12 gifts. Adorable.

An attempt to get the audience to sing Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" in four-part harmony fell flat, however, as most of the audience stood stone-faced. The closing "Silent Night" fared far better as a group sing, and was a fitting close to the traditional, but elaborate, Christmas concert.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5525 Line concert a family treat Sherri Richards 20071203

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