Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mini Reviews - Holiday Buffet: Jeff Trachta, CART, Actors Co-op and LCGRT

Talking with Jeff Trachta following his hilarious holiday show in PS. I suggested he do "The 12 Days of Christmas". His response? Gleefully, "All those characters!"

This was a merry, merry weekend full of Holiday cheer and theatrical treats.

In Palm Springs I caught Jeff Trachta's holiday show, and it's super fun! Still performing parts of his regular variety act, that includes impressions of George Burns, Joan Rivers et al, he has added to this show 6 Christmas tunes such as "Sleigh Ride" "Jingle Bells", "The Christmas Song" and "Joy to the World", some delicious new characters: Frosty the Showman, Phyllis Kringle, answering the phone at the North Pole, and a Paul Lyndish-like Wise Man trying to find the place of the Christchild's baby shower on his cell phone, and also 2 segments on screen Christmas Memories and XMas Wishes with film characters all played with unique hilarity by Trachta. This man is so talented, he, in my book, is the Entertainer of the Year or any year for that matter. Don't miss his holiday shows during December only, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm in the Cascade Room of the Spa Resort Casino.

Back in LA at the Beverly Garland Hotel, CART (California Artists Radio Theatre) presented, one performance only, their holiday offering, this year Jim Geoghan's touching Light Sensitive (dedicated to Beverly Garland, who sadly passed from us Friday after a lengthy illness) with Mariette Hartley, Richard Herd and H. M. Wynant. It's the story of a blind curmudgeon, read with terrific humor by Herd, whose life is drastically changed for the better when an in-home aide, wonderfully interpreted by the always reliable Hartley, starts paying him regular visits. H. M. Wynant makes 2 brief appearances as a pal who is leaving New York for Vermont with a chick about 40 years his junior. Wynant plays the bluntness perfectly. It's a very funny piece and so perfect for the holiday season: tender, subtle and beautifully moving. And thanks, Peggy Webber, directress and producer, for your always splendid contributions to keep radio theatre alive for future generations!

Actors Co-op is presenting 2 original in-house one-acts about Christmas, one entitled The Wickersham's Christmas Eve by Linda Kerns, set in London circa 1911, and the second The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Ronnie Steadman. The first offers a traditional perspective, while the other is totally contemporary. Both are refreshingly well-written and marvelously acted, and the fun part of the program is that the audience changes theatres at intermission. It makes total sense because the contrast of the playlets benefits from a complete change of scene, and is very enjoyable fare. Enhancing the ambiance are roving madrigal carolers that entertain the audience before the show and at intermission.

LCGRT's Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan is just not up to their previous hits this season: Prelude & Liebestod and Comic Potential. However, it does boast delightful work from Doug Haverty, Larry Eisenberg, Lareen Faye and Klair Bybee and has intelligent humor from Sullivan. It's the American answer to the Brit play Noises Off, but not nearly as physically clever.

Stay tuned for more holiday goodies next week!!! Spike the eggnog and enjoy the season while it lasts!!!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home