A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is a genuine holiday musical.  The world-premiere production hit all the right notes in every sense.   The score by Larry Grossman (music) and Carol Hall (lyrics) is appealing, old-fashioned and catchy. There are a couple of numbers that actually make you believe the charms of well-made musical theatre are ageless.  And the book by Duane Poole captures the magic of the Truman Capote story while finding effective ways of filling it out.

The [original Capote] story is short and so vivid it’s almost like poetry. The musical is just as vivid, in part, because its creators have hewed so closely to the original but without making the finished product seem hampered by the faithfulness.

There is so much heart on stage that it’s absolutely impossible to avoid getting pulled into the story. Penny Fuller [as Sook] is luminous.  Her co-star Gabe Hoffman [as Buddy] is a revelation… The supporting cast is marvelous.

The score… includes some real gems, chief among them is the toe-tapper ‘Mighty Sweet Music.’   Sook and Buddy’s ‘Alabama Fruitcake’ captures the essence of Capote’s story beautifully, and ‘Paper and Cotton’ could be the Christmas standard that emerges from the show.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is big-hearted and wonderful, that rarity among new musicals in that it doesn’t seem fraught with problems. By honoring (and loving) its source material, the show has found its sound and its emotional footing. This is a solid piece of work that should create Christmas memories for many years to come.”



“When everything comes together in the theatre with perfection, the spectator has the privilege to experience the magic. The story, direction, music, lyrics, costumes, lights, sets, sound, cast - and, oh what a cast! - bring together this enchanting Truman Capote gem and make the magic happen. Once in a while you sit in a dark hall and watch a waterfall of fine staging flow over the audience, reaching deep into their hearts and making them smile. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is brilliant. There is impressive music and lyrics throughout, and each cast member delivers solid, extraordinary performances. 
Adults and children will enjoy this masterpiece of theatre. Like a bright comet, something like this happens only once in a great while.”

- The Dispatch


“[In the hands of lyricist Carol Hall, composer Larry Grossman and writer Duane Poole], the rich poetry of A CHRISTMAS MEMORY sings from the stage.   The integrity of this work required strict fealty to [Capote’s] text, which was brilliantly captured. Christmas, the season of giving, is as much about what is missing from our lives as it is about our extraordinary wealth.  In reminding us of this, A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is a true gift to the community.”




“For decades, readers have delighted in A CHRISTMAS MEMORY, Truman Capote’s short story relating his boyhood friendship with an elderly cousin named Sook…Thanks to the combined creative force of writer Duane Poole, composer Larry Grossman and lyricist Carol Hall, Capote’s tale has been translated into a world-premiere musical…

The songs are elegantly crafted and allow even the minor characters to become fully fleshed out.  There are slower tunes with a touch of melancholy alongside more upbeat refrains; one of the latter, the jolly ‘Mighty Sweet Music,’ is the musical highlight of the evening.   The casting could not have been better, with the Emmy-winning and Tony-nominated Penny Fuller as Sook and TheatreWorks veteran Gabriel Hoffman as Young Buddy. The play is faithful to its source material, with much of Capote’s language included in the book and even woven into the songs.  Mr. Capote’s sense of holiday nostalgia is universal.   The musical… captures this feeling beautifully.”

     - San Jose Metro


“If you’re in a ‘bah, humbug’ mood this holiday season, A CHRISTMAS MEMORY may be just the remedy. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is just so darn engaging and full of the holiday spirit that it would defrost Scrooge even at his most coldhearted. Writer Duane Poole and veteran Broadway songwriters Larry Grossman and Carol Hall bring [the musical] to the stage with considerable respect for Capote's use of language. The show was crisp and well-focused… and it looked great. It is an entertaining and heartwarming theatrical work that is just perfect for the holidays.”

                   - San Jose Mercury News


“ A CHRISTMAS MEMORY - the new musical adaptation of Truman Capote's longtime holiday favorite… an engaging show with a good heart. Duane Poole's book and the songs by Broadway veterans Larry Grossman and lyricist Carol Hall flavor a… faithful retelling of the autobiographical [Capote] story. Grossman and Hall open with a fine setting of the story's first lines and lift spirits with… the upbeat ‘Alabama Fruitcake’ rag. The fast-patter ‘Mighty Sweet Music’ [is] a showstopper.”

                                                    - San Francisco Chronicle



“This intimate, modest musical proved to be an audience pleaser — an alternative to the usual holiday menu!”

- Huffington Post / A&E Things To Do


“The musical is very faithful to Capote’s story, capturing the warmth and glow of a loving look back at innocence and familial love. [It] wraps the audience in a bright holiday mood, generating… goodwill and cheer. — If you’re tired of yet another “Christmas Carol,” this one’s an enjoyable change.”

                                                          - Palo Alto Weekly