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BWW Review: Wacky Christmas in Spaaaaaaaace with CHRISTMAS IS BURNING at Café Nordo

BWW Review: Wacky Christmas in Spaaaaaaaace with CHRISTMAS IS BURNING at Café Nordo
Ray Tagavilla and Opal Peachey in
Christmas is Burning at Cafe Nordo.
Photo credit: John Cornicello

Welcome aboard the HMS Whooville for your holiday excursion. But don't expect a quick trip around the solar system as the crew takes you on an adventure across space and time and they feed you too! It's "Christmas is Burning" from the folks at Café Nordo and Sgt. Rigsby and while the script may be a little thin at times (they say so themselves) the crazy antics and delicious meal completely make up for that.

Author Scot Augustson (AKA Sgt. Rigsby) invites you to take a journey with Captain Gulliver (Roy Stanton) and his crew Yeoman Janus (Ray Tagavilla) and Time Engineer Dutch Elm (Opal Peachey). But what starts off as a nice little holiday romp quickly becomes a full-fledged mission for our intrepid crew as we discover that killer robots are determined to destroy Christmas. Our crew leads us through the journey along with hilarious shadow puppets on the view screen showing the adventures of fellow HDL (Holiday Defense League) time travellers Bax (voiced by Evan Mosher), Bonnie (voiced by Shawnmarie Stanton) and their faithful bassuatan (basset hound/orangutan) Buttons (voiced by Tagavilla). And of course there are a few adorable red shirts (Libby Barnard and Alyssa Norling) on hand for cannon fodder. Don't get attached to them.

The band lead by Michael Owcharuk is outstanding, the story is ridiculously fun, the shadow puppets are hysterical, the original songs from Shawnmarie Stanton are awesome and the cast looks to be having way too much fun. Oh and then there's the dinner from Erin Brindley that, as with everything from Café Nordo, is absolutely delicious and oh so appropriate for the holiday as you feast on reindeer, snowmen and of course Baby Jesus loaf.

Stanton is wonderful as our stalwart Captain, Tagavilla brings in some delicious comedic timing as the stoic Yeoman and Peachey is her usual adorable bubbly self as the optimistic engineer. And then there are the puppet actors voiced by the ensemble with the leads taken on by Mosher and Stanton to brilliant effect with a tone very reminiscent of old Scooby Doo or Doctor Who. It's all just way too much fun.

So adventure, songs, puppets, robots and a sumptuous meal. Not sure what more you could ask for. And if you do ask for more you're getting greedy and Santa won't bring you any presents ... assuming he survives the robot attack. And so, with my three letter rating system, I give "Christmas is Burning" at Café Nordo a completely sated YAY. So come on board the HMS Whooville but you might want to clear your schedule first as the journey takes about 2000 years.

"Christmas is Burning" from Café Nordo and Sgt. Rigsby performs at Café Nordo through December 30th. For tickets or information visit them online at

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From This Author Jay Irwin