This ABHC is really funny, and then some
If you are a fan of America's Beloved Holiday Classics (ABHC) then screenwriters Michael Careton, Jim Fitzgerald, and John K. Alveraz's EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME) now playing at the Hippodrome Theater through December 3 is the perfect holiday collection of epic Christmas scenes, curiously hilarious funny Christmas characters. New, misconstrued holiday subjects like Sam The Snowman, Gustav The Green Nosed Rain Goat, and Charlie in the Box will have the viewer quickly remembering Rudolph, Ebinezer Scrooge and (ABHC) Christmas characters of your past, and even some you might want to forget.
The story begins as Hippodrome Director Stephanie Lynge, image right, puts the three actor cast of Hippodrome actors Mark Chambers, Logan Wolfe, and Hipp newcomer Ali Foley in the middle of a performance of A Christmas Carol when Logan and Ali admit they are tired of the same old Christmas stories.
Currently performing Charles Dickens' classic holiday story A Christmas Carol. Logan is tired of playing the same old show year after year. Logan confesses when he began acting he played Tiny Tim. Now he's working his way through each of the Christmas spirits! He wants change, and Ali agrees. Much to Mark's disappointment, the trio decides to perform, for the enjoyment of the audience, every Christmas story ever told. . . literally.
The Grinch, Frosty The Snowman, Charlie Brown, It's A Wonderful Life, and The Nutcracker are segued into an laugh out loud concoction of modified holiday story scenes including The Tale of Gustav The Green Nosed Rain Goat – due to a copyright law issues the deer-like relative with the shiny red nose was unable to make an appearance.
Reminiscent of many favorite Saturday Night Live stories the scene changes in this (ABHC) are aplenty and loaded with laughs.
Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Image Editor Erica Corbett and her daughter, J.J. Finley Third Grader Lavery Drake quickly got into the fun, laugh-a-minute story taking place on the Hippodrome stage. At intermission I couldn't wait to hear what Lavery was thinking about the show:
"I like it, there were some very cool, funny things happening," Lavery said. "The scene about fruitcakes was really funny," Lavery said thinking back about the show. "I have never eaten any fruit cake."
"The musical scene before intermission was really good," She added. "And Logan flying like a parade balloon made me laugh."
I must agree with my play going partner. Logan Wolfe stole every scene he was in from flying around in the Norelco Electric Shaver, to dancing in the Christmas winter wonderland scene. Toward the end of the show there was a great moment as Ali tossed -- in rapid fire action-- Logan different hats so he could quickly change to the next Christmas character on the holiday menu.
Actor Ali Foley stole the show guiding us through scene after scene with a bright face and holiday enthusiasm. Ms. Foley said she was impressed with herself since she was onstage by accident while performing serious research into America's Beloved Holiday Classics.
Mark was very intent on performing Ebenezer Scrooge in his role in A Christmas Carol. The actor smartly fell in line as the 'Christmas foil' for many of the EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME) story lines with very funny intentions.
Director Stephanie Lynge's high-energy adaption to this production makes the most of a talented cast and her masterful use of the entire stage, props. The (ABHC) rapid scene changes were spot on leaving the audience ontheedge of their seats waiting for the next Christmas memory.
The audience was taken around the world for Christmas with many different takes on the entire (ABHC) idea with several surprisingly funny Chrustmas defintions from Norway, the Aleutian islands, and of course the North Pole definitions.
Like those funny shows, movies, TV shows with a zillion one liners I'm thinking I'm going to have to see EVERY CHRISTMAS SOTRY EVER TOLD again. There is a lot to laugh at again, like the scene where Mark and Ali are pretending to be NYC Macy's parade announcers, and Gustav the Green Nosed Rain Goat . . .
Special thanks to Rachel Jones, Downtown Gainesville website, and Hippodrome Theatre for use of their images. CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME) continues through December 23 with various days and times. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more (ABHC) information.