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THEATER REVIEW: THE GAYEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER!

Well it’s definitely the gayest Christmas pageant I’ve ever seen. And I haven’t seen that many. Overstuffed with every stereotype imaginable from a baggy-jeaned lesbian who plays an angel messenger to a finger-snapping Jesus with an attitude, not to mention the three wise men clad in S&M gear. You get the feeling this ain’t your ordinary holiday spectacle. And what would you expect from Writer/director, Joe Marshall, who has assembled a versatile yet unrefined cast in a sit-com caper of camp humor and vaudevillian wackiness. “I started working on this play over three years ago when I discovered that there weren’t many GLBT-themed holiday plays,” says Marshall. “While a couple of the characters are gay, this really is a play for everyone…”

The play is set in WeHo (West Hollywood for those of you East Coasters) where a struggling gay theater company is trying to keep it together by putting on a Christmas production. The major annoyance presents itself as Rod, the flamboyant artistic director who creates flop after flop (The Wizard is Odd?) and has left the theatre spirit ruined. The company secretly rejects Rod’s play for this year and instead hires a new playwright M&M who will hopefully turn the company around. Unfortunately, the company is left high and dry when M&M refuses to work anymore after being offended by a straight technician. However, the show must go on! The company begins to tell the story of Jesus’ birth through the use of spandex, leather, and every wise-crack known in the gay lingo. However, the off-putting humor does not offend the entertained. Santa, Jesus, a couple of wise men, an inn keeper, a militant black, a racist and its fair share of drama queens all gathering together to make this the most ridiculous Christmas ever.

Twenty four actors play over 40 characters in this Christmas extravaganza, and though you may celebrate another way, no one is left out! Crystal Cotton as Margie, the lesbian director brought from Hollywood, steals the show with her polished performance. This is a holiday show you are sure to forget. But some visions may linger. Santa, Jesus, a couple of wise men, an inn keeper, a militant black, a racist and a plethora of drama queens deliver the overcooked turkey this holiday season.

THE GAYEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER! runs through January 3, 2010 with performances Friday and Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 5PM at the Actors’ Playhouse (100 7th Ave South), running about 2 hours.

Kila Packett

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