BWW Review: THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS is Just The Comedy You Need This Holiday Season
The theatrical parody is born again in Todd Michael's THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS. Written by and starring Todd Michael, Gracye Production's latest takes us back to a simpler time and a simpler Christmas, complete with jail break, showgirls, alcoholism, exorcism, and a nun with a dark secret. Along with Michael, the cast also features Courtney Cook, Timothy J. Cox, Matt Harris, Chris Kateff, Meg Mark, Alex Pappas, and David L. Zwiers, and is directed by Lawrence Lesher.
From Sing Sing, to a convent, to the streets of New York circa 1950, THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS tells the story of vaudevillian-turned-priest Father O'Day (Kateff), who, after a brief meeting with a doomed prisoner in Sing Sing (Cox), begins teaching at a nunnery in New York City, where young student and presumed orphan Veda (Mark) is causing trouble. A series of unfortunate events seem to befall those who wrong her, and no one seems to quite know why, no one except for dim-witted groundskeeper Willard (Pappas), who to push her over the edge, tells Veda that her mother is not dead, but in fact, working in burlesque. With the timely breaking of the fourth wall and impeccable comic timing, Michael's writing is nothing short of comic genius.
Michael himself portrays the mysterious Dixie, in a performance reminiscent of a dream-like combo of Nathan Lane, Douglas Hodge, and Jefferson Mays, seconded only by Zwiers', who also acts as costume designer, delightfully shrill Sister Bernadette. The cast glitters to the last syllable of Christmas, in a show not to be missed this holiday season.
The play runs 90 minutes without intermission. It is appropriate for audiences age 16 and older. First presented in 2011 at Theatre Row's Studio Theatre, this year THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS returns to the larger Lion Theatre. The Equity production plays Thursdays through Sundays with $18 tickets available through TeleCharge.com or (212) 239-6200. For additional information about THE ASPHALT CHRISTMAS go to www.theasphaltchristmas.com.