Christmas Story is a new holiday classic
Every Christmas Story Ever Told
3.5 stars?? |?? Through December 29
Thur-Fri 8 p.m., Sat 5 & 8:30 p.m., and Sun 2 p.m.
Noble Fool Theatricals, Pheasant Run Resort & Spa,
4051 E Main St., St. Charles, 630 584-6342
By Elizabeth Macik
‘Tis the time to ring in the season with a Christmas show, but with so many to choose from in the western suburbs, where does an
audience member begin? Pheasant Run Resort is a safe bet, where instead of focusing on just one beloved holiday classic, Noble Fool Theatricals presents Every Christmas Story Ever Told.
Written by Michael Carlton, John Alvarez and Jim Fitzgerald, we meet Bob (Bob Turton), who is desperate to perform Dickens??? A Christmas Carol. Due to funding, lack of performers and just plain boredom, his two other cast members decide to put their own spin on a fresh new Christmas show using the best parts of everyone???s favorite stories.
There are tidbits reporting on how Christmas is celebrated around the world, a game show highlighting the origins of fruitcake, an attempt to follow Frosty the Snowman around town, the copyright-free tale of Gustav the Green-Nosed Reingoat and a rousing rendition of the Nutcracker ballet complete with tutus and bells.
The first act, exploding with cleverness, is a speedy demonstration of spot-on comedic timing where the audience is forced to keep up. The downside, however, is that it???s almost a little too fast. The jokes fly by before the audience can catch them. In the second act, Bob finally gets his wish and we are treated to an effectively combined retelling of A Christmas Carol and It???s a Wonderful Life. The show finishes with a light dusting of snow, a cozy fireplace and a show-stopping carol that should become a new classic.
Directed by Noble Fool???s Artistic Director John Gawlik, the show is an undeniably joyful production, nothing short of comedic brilliance. Gawlik has cast three talented, charismatic men able to stick to the script and add their own brand of humor. Brennan Buhl is like a lovable little elf whose greatest gift is entertaining. He???s a rare, funny soul who can stand there without saying anything and still manage to steal the show. Scott Stangland is the charming leader who keeps the story moving, while Turton is delightfully sympathetic as he fights for Dickens??? cause. Together, they are a hilarious dream team.
Dan P. Conley???s set is North Pole perfect, arranged with three Dickens-esque cottages that twist and turn revealing different Christmas locations with each new scene. And Lauren M. Lowell???s costumes are a fitting blend of green and red plaids with fabulously horribly Christmas sweaters topping things off.