BWW Review: Phoenix Xmas Show Balances Salty and Sweet
In May the Phoenix theater will hold its grand opening at its new location. That exciting fact makes this Xmas show particularly special. This year is the very last time audiences can see the holiday hit in the old church the Phoenix has called home for decades. There are years of new memories to be made on the new stage, but for those of us who have made A Very Phoenix Xmas part of our annual holiday tradition, there was something special about seeing this final show.
The Phoenix decided to bring back some crowd favorites from the previous 11 iterations of the show. They let people vote and the winners included "Tacobel Canon" and "Don't Eat the Baby". My personal favorite, "Les Miserabelves", was just as fantastic the second time around. The mash up of the Rudolph Christmas special and Les Miserables is beyond hilarious. Paul Hansen's rendition of "Hallelujah" backed by a chorus of hymn singing cast members was incredibly moving. Moments like that remind you of the beautiful balance the Xmas show finds between silly skits and heartfelt ones.
Rob Johansen was an all-star in a variety of roles. From his aerial ribbon acrobatics to a harden noir detective in Christmastown, he didn't disappoint. Devan Mathias was another stand out. She took over the roles of Rudolph and a cashier during the Gumdrop Wars in "The Things They Merried". An Elf's Lament, penned by the Barenaked Ladies, was another fun addition this year.
The Xmas show is the bourbon in your spiced cider. Each year we're surrounded with cozy holiday options, from Hallmark Christmas movies to carols sung by strangers. For me, A Very Phoenix Xmas has become one of my favorite traditions. It's a night filled with humor that adds just the right amount of salt to cut the season's sweetness. I wouldn't miss it for the world!
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until December 23rd and offers five performances a week. Wednesdays and Thursdays begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturdays begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets, call (317) 635-7529 or visit phoenixtheatre.org. Prices range from $25 to $35.
Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing.