Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

‘A Very Playhouse Christmas’ (recommended)

Much like the Grinch’s heart, mine grew two sizes Friday night during the Arcata Playhouse’s A Very Playhouse Christmas. Jackie Dandeneau, Elizabeth Masters and Tyler Olsen, accompanied by the fine ivory tickling of Tim Randles, brought forth a slightly warped, but unmistakeably warm, Christmas show. The sweet faces of the (Special Guests) Blue Lake Children’s Choir – featuring a Cindy Who lookalike – provided what was possibly the most honestly sweet holiday moment ever, a moment of sincere and serious caroling sandwiched between the ballastic antics of Dandeneau and Masters.

Consisting of readings, skits and a bizarre interlude of shadow puppetry, A Very Playhouse Christmas was paced to please and kept the crowd laughing throughout the show. Part of the pleasure comes from not knowing what happens next, so I can’t give too many details (hint: George Michael), but suffice to say, whether you love Christmas or hate Christmas, A Very Playhouse Christmas will feel like a holiday tradition worth having.

Because the special guests change from show to show, a mention regarding the “Gypsy marching band” won’t ruin anything – and wow, were they something! Done up like East Coast trailer park minstrels, they were as pleasing to the ears as they were hard on the eyes. A sight to behold (and I’m wondering if they’re available Dec. 22 – hello?

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