BWW Reviews: Troubies' A CHRISTMAS WESTSIDE STORY Rocks the Falcon

A Christmas Westside Story
written & directed by Matt Walker
The Troubies @ the Falcon
through January 15

With such memorable Christmas shows before it like It's a Stevie Wonderful Life, Santa Claus Is Comin' to MOTOWN andFrosty the Snow Manilow, A Christmas Westside Story joins the ranks of the Troubies' very, very best. Why? Because everyone's now classic film favorite A Christmas Story blends perfectly with everyone's favorite music from Westside Story. Both entail the pangs of growing up. What better base for drama? And both depict violence - Westside Story on a bigger scale, but there's assuredly more than a glimmer of it in A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story is definitely the more humorous of the two works, and it's even funnier when scenes are punctuated with Westside's bigger than life, operatic tunes.To see the Old Man's (Rick Batalla) obscenely silly prize lamp of a sexy feminine leg come to life as Lampy (Monica Schneider) who sings "I Feel Pretty" or to witness the Red Ryer BB Gun come to life as Ralphie's (Matt Walker) true love Red (Katharine Malak) intoning  "One Life" (two hands, one gun) are exhilarating sights that must be experienced first hand... Or when Ralphie's Mom (Leah Sprecher) exclaims "A Toy Like That" (will shoot your eye out), this is but one uproarious laugh of many, many to be heard throughout the evening. Yes, Schwartz' (Robert Petrarcha) tongue sticks to the flagpole, Ms. Shields (Lisa Valenzuela) assigns the now infamous Christmas composition on which Ralphie gets a C+ -You'll shoot your eye out! Farkus (Brandon Breault) and Toady (Christine Lakin) - Gee, Farkus and Toady (to the strains of "Officer Krupke") - attack and fight with Ralphie ("The Rumble"). I can't give everything away, but you should get the picture of how entertaining this little parody truly is.

Also on hand in this fantabulous cast are Beth Kennedy, accomplishing spectacularly funny physical feats as always, as little brother Randy - she has a great Christmas present for Rick Batalla as Old Man to help him stop improvisizing. Everyone is sensational with Batalla the primo example of milking every joke for what it's worth. Eric Heinly on drums serves splendidly as musical director. The set (Matt Jespersen) - with brickwall background for the playground, and  wintry costumes (Naomi Yoshida) are just great. Choreography by Molly Alvarez rocks, especially in "America" and "Triple Dog Dare" to the strains of "Play It Cool". Last but not least, there's Matt Walker. It is because of this man's brilliance as director and artistic director of the Troubadour Theater Company that productions like A Christmas Westside Story exceed expectations.

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From This Author Don Grigware