BWW Review: Wacky, Whimsical, Fun with Nordo's THE VIEW FROM SANTA'S LAP

BWW Review: Wacky, Whimsical, Fun with Nordo's THE VIEW FROM SANTA'S LAP
David Gehrman and Butch Alice in
The View from Santa's Lap at Cafe Nordo.
Photo credit: Bruce Clayton Tom

And I thought last year's offering from Café Nordo and Scot "Sgt. Rigsby" Auguston was crazy. But Auguston has amped the wacky fun up to 12 now with their latest incarnation "The View from Santa's Lap" complete with delicious food, shadow puppet mermaids, and (dum dum dum) MURDER!

We're not going into space this year but have our feet firmly planted on the ground but in the past at Klootzak's Department Store circa 1950's. We've come for shopping and of course to dine at Klootzak's cafeteria but Becky June Beasley-Jones (Seattle drag icon Butch Alice a.k.a. Brendan Mack) has come to hide out for a crime she didn't commit. But Becky June goes from the frying pan into the fire as a string of murders has plagued Klootzak's and it's up to Becky June to bring the murderer to justice before she becomes the next victim. And of course, along the way we get a shadow puppet play about how the mermaids brought Santa and Christmas back to the oceans. (Don't worry, it'll make sense at the end ... kinda.)

Auguston has focused his hilarious lens onto this noir-ish murder mystery and infused it with the usual banquet of double entendres and zany flashbacks that you're sure to have a blast. Even his secondary story with the shadow puppets and the mermaids saving Christmas goes from sweet to "Oh My!" And of course, it's all paired with a sumptuous meal from Chef Erin Brindley and original rockin' Klootzak Christmas songs from Rick Miller and the Band. Honestly, I'm not sure how you could not have a good time. Killer music but if that's not your thing then a hilarious show but if you're still being a Grinch then a delicious meal complete with Beef Wellington, and Baby Jesus Loaf. But if you're like most of us, you'll devour all three.

The ensemble cast, many of whom pull double duty are superb. David Gehrman is hysterical in each role especially his over the top mannequin designer Pauly. Madison Jade Jones takes on her many roles with gusto each one funnier than the last. Susanna Burney has an incredible vibrancy with each of her roles making them impossible not to watch and love, even when they're the bad guys. And I must mention Evan Mosher who not only played with the band but brilliantly lent his vast array of voices to the shadow puppets.

But it's Butch Alice who has to carry the show and she does with little seeming effort. A consummate performer she is the perfect host and guide for this wacky world and has equally amazing chemistry with the audience as well as with her fellow players. And she inhabits the noir tone of the play beautifully.

Nordo continues their streak of bringing the goods from the food to the music to the story, it's all good. And this is no exception. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give Café Nordo's "The View from Santa's Lap" a delighted on so many levels YAY. And one final note, be sure you try some of Klootzak's Famous HOT NUTS!

"The View from Santa's Lap" performs at Café Nordo through December 24th. For tickets or information visit them online at

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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