BWW Review: Nordo's CHRISTMAS KILLINGS AT CORGI CLIFFS Brings the (somewhat disjointed) Laughs
Becky-June Beasley-Jones (played by the irreverent Butch Alice), the Jessica Fletcher of Café Nordo, a young girl who can't help but stumble into murder after murder (so much so that I'm not certain she's not perpetrating them) has returned to rock your holidays with "The Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs". In the latest crazed mystery from Scot Augustson and directed by Jasmine Joshua, Becky-June is on hand to find the killer and tickle your funny bone. And she does quite well, but this particular mystery felt a bit convoluted and long.
This time around Becky-June is a nanny in the quiet England village of Spankington, escaping her previous nanny job in the states where she was found in a compromising position. But her young charge, Fanny, is nowhere to be found when she arrives, and neither are the rest of the kids in the village. So, Becky-June must unravel the mystery in time to save the kids and maybe even herself.
Augustson and Joshua certainly have a gift for the absurd and ribald leaving no dick joke unturned. And while I laughed throughout, the show felt it dragged on a bit with red herring character after character popping up with yet a new lead, many of which amounted to nothing. Some bits, in fact, kept getting set up with no payoff at the end, leaving me unsatisfied. Yes, we're not here for Shakespeare, we're here to laugh and eat but I still like to be able to follow the story.
As always, chef Erin Brindley delivers a fantastic meal, including fan favorite, Baby Cheesus Bread Loaf. And the band as led by Sari Breznau is on hand to kill with some questionable Christmas tunes. But it's the cast that pulls this off so beautifully. The Ensemble of Susanna Burney, Stephen Hando, Madison Jade Jones, and Evan Mosher bring in multiple insane characters including some diabolical twins, a torch singer, fanatical cult members, and even a ghost. And they manage it with swift grace switching from one character to another with lightning precision. And Jones' Ode to Christmas as the torch singer is worth the price of admission alone.
But the show still rests on Becky-Junes broad shoulders and Butch Alice once again kills it. She manages to keep this out of control train on the tracks and make us laugh with her outrageous viewpoint. Her side comments and glances are a thing of beauty, reminiscent of the great Charles Busch.
Muddled story aside, we come for the food and for Becky-June and both make for a raucous night. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give "The Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs" at Café Nordo a "murdered with laughs" YAY-. If they ever to reboot "Murder, She Wrote" it should be with Becky-June Beasley-Jones.
"The Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs" performs at Café Nordo through December 29th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.cafenordo.com.