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Merry Little Holiday Shorts 2015

a Holiday Comedy/Drama
by various

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta on Ponce [WEBSITE]
ID# 4814

SHOWING : December 03, 2015 - December 13, 2015



The fifth installment of our popular Holiday Shorts will feature 10 original one acts by local and national playwrights. These new plays will surely tickle your funny bone or melt the heart of even the worst Holiday Grinch. It is the perfect way to fill up on holiday cheer!

The Plays:
"A Very Queer Christmas" by Peter Dakutis of Decatur, GA, directed by Barry West

"Christmas Slice" by Elisabeth Cooper of Decatur, GA, directed by Nat Martin

"Christmas Wrap-Up" by Laura King of Barnesville, GA, directed by Richard Diaz

"First Christmas" by Evan Guilford-Blake of Stone Mountain, GA, directed by Elisabeth Cooper

"For Unto Us" by Stephen Kaplan of Bogota, NJ, directed by Judy Beasley

"Les Miserabelves" by Mark Harvey Levine of Pasadena, CA, directed by Darrell Wofford

"Regifting" by Steven Korbar of Torrance, CA, directed by Charlie Miller

"Shelf On A Elf" by Rob Britt of Alpharetta, GA, directed by Judy Beasley

"The Hint" by William Thurmond of Decatur, GA, directed by Abra Thurmond

"The Light" by Mark Harvey Levine of Pasadena, CA, directed by William Thurmond

Performances December 3 - 13, 2015
Thursday 8pm
Saturday 4pm
Sunday 7pm

Director Judith Beasley
Director Elisabeth Cooper
Director Richard Diaz
Director Charlie Miller
Director Barry N. West
Man ("First Christmas"), Angus ("The Lig J. Michael Carroll
Mary ("For Unto Us") Katy Clarke
Judith ("The Hint"), Edna ("Christmas Wr Lory Cox
Michele ("Regifting"), Ruby ("Christmas Cristina deVallescar
Phillip ("A Very Queer Christmas") Jesse Farmer
Jessica ("Christmas Slice"), Rudolph ("L Sarah Fechter
Deidre ("A Very Queer Christmas"), Misha Erica Frene
Katie ("A Very Queer Christmas") Lisa Gordon
David ("A Very Queer Christmas") Trey Harrison
Hermey/Clarice ("Les Miserabelves") Tali Higgins
Man ("The Light"), Various ("Les Miserab Rob Jerome
Director; Picklebopple ("Shelf on an Elf Nat Martin
Woman ("First Christmas"), Ada ("The Lig Linzmarie Schultz
Director; Rachel ("Regifting"), Voiceove Abra Thurmond
Director; Voiceover ("Shelf on an Elf") William Thurmond
Joseph ("For Unto Us") Robert Wayne
Pizza Boy ("Christmas Slice"), Scotty (" Markell Williams
Director; Actor #1 ("Les Miserabelves"), Darrell Wofford
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


From Stupid to Stupid
by playgoer
Sunday, December 13, 2015
The 2015 edition of Onstage Atlanta’s "Merry Little Holiday Shorts" starts with a fairly stupid little skit and ends with another. In between, there’s a mixture of affecting, humorous, and, yes, other stupid little plays. The acting quality is high throughout, but it can’t always rescue the material. With the variety of playwrights and directors involved, a certain unevenness is to be expected. In this year’s production, the substandard predominates.

First up is Rob Britt’s "Shelf on an Elf," which is pretty much summed up by the title, with an Elf on the Shelf trapped on the floor under a fallen shelf. Nat Martin does a fine job as the elf, and Barry West attempts to mine the humor of the elf version of an EMT, but the whole thing tends to fall flat. It doesn’t help that voiceovers start and end the piece, giving the audience just blackness to look at as the show starts.

Next up is "The Hint" by William Thurmond. This play is short and to the point, splendidly acted by Lory Cox and Darrell Wofford. The situation is easy to relate to, and ends with a nice twist. Director Abra Thurmond makes sure it lasts just the right amount of time.

"Christmas Slice," by Elisabeth Cooper, shows us a lonely woman (Sarah Fechter) and a pizza delivery man (Markell Williams) making a connection at Christmastime. Nat Martin has cleverly used a door of the set from "The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical" to act as the apartment door. It’s a fairly obvious piece, but pleases nevertheless.

For me, the highlight is the fourth play in sequence, Steven Kobar’s "Regifting." Charlie Miller has directed Cristina deVallescar and Abra Thurmond to play the clever script with huge energy and cynical holiday relish. It’s a situation anyone can relate to -- an unexpected guest bringing an unexpected gift that needs to be reciprocated on the fly. The comic complications build up until they explode in a tidy ending.

The first act ends with "A Very Queer Christmas," which seems slightly unfocused and is marred by a lack of projection from the cast until the late arrival of a sparklingly effervescent Lisa Gordon. Director Barry West has produced a somewhat awkward play that doesn’t hold together very well.

"First Christmas," by Evan Guildford-Blake, starts the second act with is what is basically a monologue shared by the clear-spoken J. Michael Carroll and the hard-to-understand Linzmarie Schulz. It’s a fairly static retelling of an anecdote that attempts to be affecting, but the static nature overwhelms the material under Elisabeth Cooper’s direction.

Laura King’s "Christmas Wrap-Up" features wonderful performances by Lory Cox, Cristina deVallescar, and Markell Williams, under the direction of Richard J. Diaz. The situation of department store wrappers wrapping gifts just before the store opens doesn’t make a lot of sense, and the ending continues that lack of sense. It’s entertaining, but feels contrived.

"The Light," by Mark Harvey Levine, tells the story of Hanukkah with a quirky humor that includes the arrival of the (not) awaited Godot (played nicely by Rob Jerome), and a kilt-wearing Angus MacCabee (authentically Scottish in the accent of J. Michael Carroll). Erica Frene and Linzmarie Schulz nicely portray two women tasked with watching a lamp whose oil supply is expected to last only a day. One woman is a true believer; the other is more questioning. I’m not quite sure what the point of the play is supposed to be.

"For Unto Us," the next play in sequence, also brings in the topic of Hanukkah, with a Christian girl (Katy Clarke) and a Jewish boy (Robert Wayne) discussing religious matters on a playground. Stephen Kaplan’s script meanders a little, making the nice performances of Ms. Clarke and Mr. Wayne seem a little pointless. Judith Beasley has blocked it with a variety of child-like action, but there’s not enough of a spark and sparkle in the script to make it really catch fire.

The last piece is "Les Miserabelves," a shameless mash-up of the 60’s claymation "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" special and the musical "Les Misérables." Director/actor Darrell Wofford has filled the show with wonderful costumes and props and facial hair, but it’s all in the service of a one-joke idea. Given that the voices of the cast aren’t really up to the task of singing Claude-Michel Schönberg’s music, the whole thing comes across as exceedingly cheesy.

Sound and lighting design are fine, especially given the constraint of performing on a set designed for another show, and between-show music gives an additional taste of holiday cheer. If only more of the show were like the middle three plays of the first act, this would be a consistently entertaining show, instead of an only intermittently entertaining one. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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