Christmas Miracles – Shamu’s Holiday Show

SeaWorld is mounting a special edition of its trademark Shamu show for the holidays.

It’s called Christmas Miracles and it runs just once a day at 5:30 p.m. in Shamu Stadium. I liked it a lot better than Believe!

Why? Because the whales get more stage time and no amount of creativity or show-biz pizazz is going to beat three killer whales performing in tandem.

The incurably politically correct should be forewarned that this is a Christmas show, with no bones made about the Christian roots of the celebration. (Yes, yes, I know all about those pagan winter festivals from which we draw our Christmas trees, but still . . . )

Not only do they showcase the Three Wise Men and sing “Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel,” but at one point a team of extras in choir robes and holding candles lines the front of Shamu’s watery “stage.” It’s actually quite nice.

There is also an emphasis on live music, which is starting to look like a growing trend at SeaWorld. A quite good saxophone player presents jazzed up versions of Christmas carols as a pre-show warm up. And an African-American diva with a killer voice closes the show with a rousing soul-inflected finale, as the SeaWorld trainers bop and jive along, proving that having rhythm is not a job requirement for killer whale trainers.

But the show, quite rightly, belongs to the whales, and a high percentage of it involves trainers either soaring aloft with their mammoth charges or riding them at breakneck speed across the stage. This what every Shamu show should be about.

If you’re going to be in Orlando this Christmas season, don’t miss this show.

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