NoHo Arts District
December 2, 2013
This production has a duel cast where some performers do perform all shows through its run, while other characters will have alternate performers on alternate nights with each production. The actors I mention here are of the cast I saw on opening night.
You know the story, but what makes this production shine is the amazingly sharp cast. Anthony Backman plays John the Baptist in a hysterical and witty way and with resounding energy. Anthony's comic timing along with his broad looks and whimsical movements (especially as a floating head) will keep you laughing out loud every time he is on stage.
Now if you ever pictured an over protective, no-holds barred, say what's on her mind Jewish mother, you will be in tears of laughter with the snarky, sharp and completely hysterical Virgin Mary played brilliantly by Kelly Goodman. OMG, Kelly had me in stitches with her energy and passion to protect her son (Jesus). Her later performance as she doubled as some of the barn animals will just keep you laughing so much!
Now if you ever watch two actors go at it back and forth, like a good tennis match, you'll seem extreme amounts of talent that went into Shelby Janes performance playing Maggie, the wife of Jesus. Watching Shelbey just volley the snarky and anger against Kelly's Virgin Mary was like watching an Olympic event as each tried to out dominate the other. Shelby and Kelly were just amazing to watch and incredibly memorable!
Another charming and hysterical surprise came from Trevor Eyster playing a sheep who lost his Baaaaa. However, later, after gaining his speech back, Trevor performs his sheep with incredible charm and yet his innocence, alertness and his physical actions will keep you laughing.
Trevor as a sheep has Shepherd Lass who is a perfect contrast and performed as a straight-man to a tee by Franci Montgomery. Franci does the timing and looks of a short-sighted shepherd who eventually will go through some hysterical life-altering changes by the end, but her and Trevor's performance will keep you in tears.
The play opens and is sprinkled throughout with one of the most colorful angels I have ever seen performed. Susanna Young is sharp with her drunkenness and witty with her deliveries and seems to keep some of the characters on their toes. Susanna is having too much fun and you can tell that she is as her angel is sometimes confused about her surroundings.
Of course we have one of the 'Three Kings' (the gold giver) and his wife the Queen, regally played by Morry Schorr and Julia Sanford. Morry has a nice play on his kingliness with a somewhat dizzy-like charm while Julie plays the slightly overbearing, finically concerned wife quite hysterically. There is also a duty bound Roman who is sternly played by Brett Koontz who does a nice job at foiling some of the scenes while allowing the other characters to shine as they avoid the Roman wrath.
How about a Barkeep who commands his drink who also doubles as Santa Clause and is played by Wayne Baldwin? Wayne challenges Jesus with some alternate versions of what his birthday might have been like. Jesus is played rather straight with an angry temperament by Nathan Wellman. Some more funny moments come from watching Wayne and Nathan go back and forth at what their memories are of the nativity as well as seeing all the alterations that were made around his birth.
Producer Bob Rusch and SkyPilot Theatre always do an amazing job at assembling the most original pieces of written material material with versatile and talented casts, topped with the perfect directors to make it pure magic on stage! "Christmas 2" is a real funny twist on a very old story with a lot a of sarcasm, hoots, wit and very funny humor. Check them out at www.SkypilotTheatre.com.