Monday, December 5, 2011

Singing for my supper

Jordan Todd Brown
First off, to be honest, I'm a fan of the Pickleville Playhouse.
Marc and I have made it a point to see every "Juanito Bandito" show they've produced and recommend them to our friends.
So when I noticed they were doing a Christmas show in Logan (at the Eccles Conference Center until Dec. 23), I volunteered to review it. My editor didn't want to pay me the mileage+ it would take for a print review so I offered my blog as a forum.
T.J. Davis/aka the Bandito was all for it. He even offered to pay for dinner.
So here we go: "12.25, A Merry Musical Comedy" is a lively Christmas show made almost manic by the antics of Jordan Todd Brown as Greechner/Gizmo and Whitney Davis as Zanita/Zoe.
These two are over-the-top funny and virtually unstoppable as they careen along through the story.
T.J. keeps up but just barely as he tries to play the straight man to their crazy talk (He's often just trying to keep from cracking up and the two comics compete for laughs).
Megan Bagley as Elanor/Ellie and Sharli Davis King as Emily/Eve are wonderfully talented supporting cast members.
Whitney Davis
The story is simple as Davis playing the part of Brandon the single father (and Buster the Elf) attempts to reconcile his son's hopes for Christmas with the reality of his slim budget. They're counting on Santa. Davis is worried.
Meanwhile the elves back at the North Pole are looking for Santa who seems to be AWOL and try to salvage Christmas with a fund-raiser telethon.
A grumpy Grinch-like neighbor who doubles as a conniving, greedy elf (Brown) and a wacky drop-by friend (Whitney Davis) make the simplest conversation a hilarious event.
There's so much raw talent on stage it's hard to describe. Let's just say it all works, from the political pundits to the "one-man flash mob" and the curly-toed shoes.
Even the little guys, Carter Davis (T.J. Davis' real-life son) and Bryson Hackler, come across pretty believable.
Everybody can sing well. Everybody can act and everybody is funny.
The result is a happy ending for everyone.
What better scenario can one hope for?

(By the way, the Bandito is coming to Salt Lake in February to the Jeanne Wagner Theatre. See for tickets and details. If you've never seen the Bandito in action, you're missing out.)

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