San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Teletica hosts bangin’ Christmas event

If you passed by La Sabana in western San José Sunday night and gawked at the thousands lining up to enter the west esplanade of the National Stadium, you were witnessing Teletica Channel 7’s Christmas celebration, Fantasía de Navidad (Christmas Fantasy).

Children and adults filled the area to celebrate a Christmas concert performed by national talents, such as the Gospel music group Master Key and the Tico Jazz Band orchestra.

At 6:30 p.m., Costa Rican comedian Alex Costa warmed up the crowd. But by 7 p.m., the concert’s presenter, Edgar Silva (host of Teletica’s Buen Día) opened the event by introducing two young artists, 9-year-old twins Felipe and María José Castillo, who played “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Carol of the Bells” respectively on the piano. Then, they sang “El significado de la Navidad” (The Meaning of Christmas) from their holiday album.

The rest of the concert was a musical play reminiscent of “The Nutcracker.” The story involved a young girl who received a rag doll (think Raggedy Andy) as a gift from her godfather, which did not please her. After she learned the values of humility and gratitude, the doll came alive and followed the girl and her friends on a worldwide adventure, visiting the North Pole, the Caribbean and China.

Music performed included Christmas classics, like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (both sung in Spanish); as well as traditional carols and popular tunes such as MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” with new lyrics.

Imani Campbell, 12, from Limón, sang a solo of “I Believe I Can Fly” and verses from “Hallelujah” in English. She was the winner of Teletica’s singing competition Nace una estrella (A Star is Born) during its fourth installment, and these songs were also part of her competition repertoire.

Throughout the two-hour program, the children on stage were faced with obstacles. “Rats” (people in costume) kept interrupting the show with their own songs about sabotaging Christmas. At the end, it was up to Edgar Silva to intercede. He spoke about forgiveness and acceptance so both children and rats could enjoy the festivities. This motivated audiences to examine the true meaning of Christmas, along with an array of songs relating to the birth of Christ.

The magical night came to a close with the whole cast singing and dancing to a Christmas version of Gangnam Style and a show of fireworks, which made both young and old dance around, in awe of the splendor.

The show aired Monday night at 8 p.m. on Channel 7.

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