BWW Review: EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME) at Gamut Theatre Group
The 2007 play Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!) by Michael Carleton, John K. Alvarez, and James FitzGerald takes the audience on a high energy romp through a variety of Christmas traditions, beloved holiday classics (BHCs as they're referred to in the show), and holiday songs. In the midst of this Christmas chaos, one character tries desperately to get the rest of the cast on board to perform A Christmas Carol (which they've been rehearsing for weeks) because everyone always does A Christmas Carol at Christmas. Not only is Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!) a fun reminder of some holiday traditions, but it's also an exploration of tradition in general and how traditions come to be repeated year after year and generation after generation.
The cast at Gamut Theatre Group consists of Gamut founders and staff-Clark Nicholson (Artistic Director), Melissa H. Nicholson (Executive Director), and Thomas Weaver (Associate Artistic Director). While the audience is warned that the first act will be on the long side, it feels too long. The transitions between the sketches are well-done and keep things moving, but some of the sketches in the first act could be shorter. Humor abounds, from holiday humor to political humor to local humor, and the cast bounces from one laugh to another with great agility and timing.
Throughout the show it is amazing to watch the actors take on so many different characters. My favorite sketches in act one are The Grinch and Gustav the Green-Nosed Reingoat (yes, you read that right--Gustav the Green-Nosed Reingoat--because, as they explain in the show, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is copyrighted). The actors imitate the voices and movements of characters from the beloved holiday classics so well that they really bring the movies to life.
Clark, Melissa, and Tom have fantastic chemistry on stage and their enthusiasm lights up the stage as brightly as the Christmas lights. While act one transitions from one sketch to another, for those who prefer a more fluid storyline, act two is a delightful back and forth between A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life. If the audience isn't already wowed by the talent on stage, the second act highlights it even more. Tom switches from Ebenezer Scrooge to George Bailey, seamlessly changing his voice, his accent, his posture, and his movements from one line to the next. Clark and Melissa run on and off stage, changing costumes and characters without missing a beat.
The show wraps up with what I find to be one of the most impressive parts of the performance-Christmas songs as you've never heard them before. Imagine singing your all of your favorite Christmas songs as one song. It's incredible and difficult to describe, so get your tickets today to experience it for yourself!
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!) will be making audiences laugh on the Gamut Theatre Group stage through December 23rd. Visit www.gamuttheatre.org to get your tickets for an evening of holiday cheer!