Review: Warm Up With SNOW FEVER: A KARAOKE CHRISTMAS at B Street Theatre

Sing along until December 24th.

By: Dec. 02, 2023
Review: Warm Up With SNOW FEVER: A KARAOKE CHRISTMAS at B Street Theatre

It’s back! The most wonderful time of the year (besides baseball season), which brings with it a slew of the most wonderful theatre offerings. The B Street Theatre is premiering one of them, Snow Fever: A Karaoke Christmas by Robert Caisley, as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. In the true spirit of Christmas, Caisley adheres to the unspoken rule that a holiday is not a holiday without a steaming hot mess.

B Street favorite John Lamb just came from fantastically portraying a very different character, Franz Ferdinand’s assassin. His breadth of talent is wide, yet he seems very much at home as the beleaguered and exasperated bar owner, Brendan. Brendan is struggling to keep his bar, The Wet Whistle, afloat, as his mother, Laverna, drinks all the profits. Laverna is played by Elisabeth Nunziato, a charmingly obtuse alcoholic with questionable morals and fierce momma-bear righteousness. Stephanie Altholz plays The Wet Whistle’s newest employee, Lucy, who is stuck between Laverna and Brendan’s tug-of-war over control of the liquor (and the naming rights). Lucy finds a kindred spirit in Jason Kuykendall’s idealistic Kenny, whose tendency to “borrow” items brings trouble to The Wet Whistle’s door. The Christmas tree he acquires belongs to F.U., one of many mysterious and maligned exes of Laverna's. There is speculation that he is Brendan’s father, but there is no lost love between the three. Greg Alexander’s F.U. is delightedly gruff and reminiscent of J.R. Ewing, solidifying the connection between man and initials. Also shaking things up at The Wet Whistle is new-to-rural Montana Greta. Dana Brooke’s character brings change in the form of newfangled entertainment that Brendan is determined will not replace his beloved ancient jukebox. She also brings warmth to Brendan’s frozen heart and renews his belief in the magic of the season.

The setting for the backwoods bar is brilliantly created by scenic designer Stephen Jones. Every detail has been meticulously carried out, from the curious creature constantly surveying the surroundings to my personal favorite and guardian to Laverna’s abode, the “Not the Crapper” sign. Snow Fever is a great dose of holiday cheer seasoned with just the right amount of humbug. In “Christmas Vacation” fashion, it reminds us to expect the holidays with family to have challenges, but with love, music, and sometimes a lot of liquor, it can be a time to treasure.

PC: Rudy Meyers