Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
By Michael Carleton, James Fitzgerald and John K. Alvarez
Music by Will Knapp
Directed by Michael Carleton
Orlando Shakespeare Theater
Orlando, FL

If any one point is clearly established here, that would be Marley’s demise. That fact was nailed clearly, repeatedly and most dramatically by Tim Williams. Beyond that, tonight offers a Santa’s sack of gags, clever ideas, and sometime sweet remanences. “A Christmas Carol” remains one of the most loved and most hated holiday stories, and you can only do it so often to a regular theatre crowd. But is IS a crowd pleaser, and if you only go to church for Easter, then there’s a good chance you only go to theatre for Dickens. Assisting the valiant Mr. Williams tonight we have long time favorite Christopher Patrick Mullen as the flighty guy, and new comer Michael Daly as the ironically Santa Shaped guy. The three not only have excellent chemistry and great timing, they never step on another’s laugh lines.

Some “Classics” are merely touched upon (a quick, jazzy frug from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, a single shot from “A Christmas Story’s” Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun) while others are explored in more depth. More involved segment include the “The Fruit Cake Dating Game” where an audience member is dragged on stage, and a mashed up “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We see some earth friendly recycling; comedic travel logos for holiday traditions in distant European lands look familiar, and the lately lamented Theatre Downtown gets a cautionary shout out. Soon we are at intermission. Then Act Two zips by with a “Complete Works” edit of “Carol.” At a squeezed down 15 or 20 minutes it short circuits the feel good ending. Yeah! This is an evening of light weight fun, full of laughs and tinsel and short on pathos.

For more information on Orlando Shakespeare Theater, visit http://www.orlandoshakes.org

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