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BWW Review: A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS at Seattle Public Theater

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Yippee Kai Yay, they’re back!

BWW Review: A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS at Seattle Public Theater
Jason Marr in A Very Die Hard Christmas
at Seattle Public Theater.
Photo credit: Truman Buffett

Everyone has their holiday traditions, Dear Readers. Whether it's trimming the tree or eight nights of presents, or ice skating with the ones you love, these are important events that make our holidays merry and bright. Well, last year, like with so many, our holiday traditions got replaced by staying away from everyone and many events being shut down due to ... well, you know. But I'm overjoyed to say that one of my favorite holiday traditions is back this year and just as insane as ever, the annual production of "A Very Die Hard Christmas" from Jeff Schell and the folks from The Habit. Now for some bad news, the show is already completely sold out. But all is not lost as I have it on good authority from Mark Siano, the producer, writer, director, composer, and narrator of the piece, that they have a waitlist of no show tickets each night. But we'll get into the details of that in a bit, first, to the show.

Whether you think the 80's movie "Die Hard" is a Christmas film or not (it is by the way), it's certainly a classic, making it ripe for parody. And parody they do as we watch New York detective John McClane (Jason Marr) take on Hans Gruber (Rebecca Olson) and his gang of terrorists as they try to disrupt the Nakatomi Christmas party endangering all in attendance including John's estranged wife Holly (Helen Roundhill). But they can't possibly put an action movie on stage, right? Well they do make some allowances by replacing the guns, blood, helicopters, and explosions with some things a bit more audience friendly. I won't spoil the surprises but I will say the action is all still there, and better than ever and the staging is worth the price of admission alone. But wait, there's so much more as the comedy and songs (yes, it's somewhat a musical) take this action movie to a whole new level of giddy theatrical joy.

BWW Review: A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS at Seattle Public Theater
Jarron A. Williams, Rebecca Olson, Troy Lund,
and Hisam Goueli in A Very Die Hard Christmas
at Seattle Public Theater

It's hard to say what my favorite parts of the show are. There's certainly Marr with his pitch perfect, over the top, portrayal of everyone's favorite action hero. Just watching him round the corner, gun drawn, and with his "intense face" is enough to make me giggle beyond belief. Or how about Olson and her spot-on Hans Gruber impression. But it's not an impression, as you can see the love she has for the character and Alan Rickman (the OG Hans). It's an homage. Roundhill once again makes for the most formidable damsel in distress, and I adore her rendition of "Come Out to the Coast". Simply stunning.

BWW Review: A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS at Seattle Public Theater
Mark Siano and Katheryn Reed
in A Very Die Hard Christmas
at Seattle Public Theater

But they're just the tip of the iceberg. We have the hilarious Hisam Goueli as the platinum locked Karl with his truly fabulous hair. Bob Williams in multiple roles, but most importantly as the best beat cop ever, Sergeant Al Powell, completely kills with each line. Tayler Lynn may not have many lines as the pregnant Ginny, but she makes the absolute most of every one. And I have to mention the dynamic duo of Siano as the best narrator ever and Katheryn Reed who is only listed as "The Fixer" but basically amounts to comedy gold without uttering a word. And so many more.

This show has been and still is utter brilliance from Music Director John Kranz and the band's cocaine habit to the final high stakes super soaking. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give "A Very Die Hard Christmas" a "Thank the Gods it's back!" WOW. We missed you weirdos like crazy.

"A Very Die Hard Christmas" performs at Seattle Public Theater through December 26th. For information visit them online at www.seattlepublictheater.org. But as I said, they only have waitlist tickets left. To get on the waitlist, guests need to arrive in person. The waitlist begins exactly one hour before showtime. There's always no shows and a few seats get released right before curtain. Good luck!


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