BWW Review: Naughty Holiday Fun in WONDERLAND at the Can Can
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sugar plums dancing in your head, and candy canes intertwined. These are some images that spring to mind when you think of the holiday season. Now what if those were euphemistic chestnuts, sugar plums, and candy canes and they were all naked and singing? Do I have your attention now? Because those naughty elves at the Can Can are back with their 6th installment of their ribald holiday extravaganza "Wonderland" and if this doesn't fill up your stocking, nothing will.
There's even a little story with this one. Our always outrageous emcee Johnny (Jonathan Betchtel) is feeling a bit down and definitely over all the holiday cheer surrounding him. Enter Snowballs (Jordan Taylor), Johnny's spirit of Christmas and he's vowed that before the night is out, he will stoke the flames of Johnny's love of Christmas and take Snowballs inside him once again. Wait, that came out wrong. Oh, no it didn't. And so, Snowballs calls upon some good fairies (Shadou Mintrone and Madison Oliver) and the Queen of the Night (Jasmine Jean-Sim) to help bolster Johnny's mood.
This is one of those Can Can shows I love. Why? Sure, there's the naked people but also, it's one of the ones where they rely upon Jasmine and Jordan to show off their other talents, their voices. Jordan struts about, looking amazing in various states of dress, crooning out some holiday favorites. And Jasmine's sultry rendition of "Once Upon a Dream" will haunt me until my dying day. Plus, her delightful "Santa Baby" will give you exactly what you want for X-mas.
But don't think that's all. Shadou and Madison flit about like Sugar Plum Fairies with their body defying acrobatics. And then there's the sexiest of them all, the spinning cage number from Shadou and Johnny, only this time it's not a cage, it's a crescent moon, all ornate and lit up for Christmas. And the two writhe and spin around it and each other creating a stunning tableau. And then, of course there's Johnny as the consummate host, playing with the audience at every turn and creating holiday memories that you'll never forget.
So, yes, it's another fabulous Can Can show, but this one is tinged with a bit of sadness, at least for me. One of my favorite Can Can performers is leaving, at least for now. Jordan is off to bigger and better performances, and ones he may even be able to keep his clothes on for (sacrilege!). I for one will certainly miss that dazzling smile, that sly wit, those incredible pipes, and yes, those bouncing pecs (which had their own dance number last night). We'll miss you, Jordan.
But the show must go on and go on it does. And Jordan hasn't left yet so there's still time to catch him and the rest of the Can Can crazies to brighten up your holidays before you have to face your family. Or maybe bring the family with you and create awkward memories for years to come. At any rate, with my three-letter rating system, I give Can Can's "Wonderland" a bittersweet YAY. So, throw a little spice in your eggnog and head on over and catch "Wonderland" before it melts from all the heat they're producing.
"Wonderland" performs at the Can Can through January 5th. For tickets or information visit www.thecancan.com.