Christmas is such a hectic time of year. There’s barely time to shop, wrap presents or post reviews of holiday specials, like this one reviewing Cynthia Dale’s new CBC hour Christmas Dreams. The hour-long special premiered Wednesday night (and drew an estimated 468,000 viewers); can’t find any repeat viewings scheduled as yet but I’ll update this post if they’re out there. It stars Dale as a curio shop keeper who used to be a dancer and has some unresolved issues with her sis. A tyke enters the store and the two girls connect. Check out the video review, below:

Dale has always been a real lets-put-on-a-show girl, especially at Stratford, but even back in the day at Michael Power/St. Joseph’s in Etobicoke, where she was a Pat Hunt prodigy. She told me a few weeks ago at the CBC winter launch that working with Henry Czerny, who guests on the special as a narcoleptic pie maker, was a nice reunion from their days together as students in Banff; both were just 18 at the time.
Landing Ed Asner as a guest was Dale’s Christmas Dream come true. The TV legend rehearsed his song with Dale over the phone. “Can I tell you what a thrill that was,” says Dale.
The simple, straight ahead special seemed old fashioned and a bit dated to me, very ’80s in form and content. Maybe that’s a good thing; seems the only specials people watch anymore are the ones we remember from our childhood.

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