Yep, the holidays season is upon us, and boy, does it drag on forever! Don’t you wish there was a way to just condense it down to a light, snickerdoodle-sized, say, hour and forty-five minutes? Wait, there is! Because The Reduced Shakespeare Company has flown back into St. Louis on Santa’s sleigh, with their holiday confection, The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) performed at The Edison Theatre on the Washington University Campus.
This time, the boys are helping out with the Multi-Cultural Interfaith Holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant, down at St. Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church (a fitting place, because Unitarians will believe ANYTHING! And PLEASE, don’t write me hate mail – technically I am a UU! LOL!). And, wouldn’t you know it - NONE of the volunteer acts have shown up – due to this interminable St. Louis weather! According to the RSC, Fox News has warned us that a major snowstorm is “coming in from the right”! So, as always, the gang is willing to perform all 21 acts themselves, rather than give us a refund. Lucky for us!
Highlights include: the Confederate Christmas Carolers version of White Christmas, prompting us to wonder if that troupes’ name should have been spelled with “K’s”; one of the boys “donning his gay apparel – which included booty-shorts with “Juicy” emblazoned on the butt; a “12 Days of Christmas” Sing-a-long, with audiences members contributing what they’d like for Christmas in the verses; “The Night before Christmas” poem re-invented as a harangue about holiday airline travel; The Buffalo Bells bellringers playing “Jingle Bells” on common household objects; a folk song about who really wears the pants in the Claus household, the RSC’s own version of the Nativity, narrated by Wolf Blitzer, in which the 3 Wise Men are portrayed by the BeeGees, and a special surprise appearance by Albert Pujols, as one of the multitude of “Angels”; and finally, the only company to actually make an appearance, The Billy Barty Ballet Company’s Little Nutsy Elf Ballet, with their stunningly hilarious version of “The Nutcracker”.
RSC members Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor and Matt Rippy were all in fine comedic form, each with many very funny bits. Tichenor in his role as “the RSC’s elder statesmen” had great fun “donning his gay apparel”, as well as playing the insanely and deliciously wicked King Herod in the Nativity. Martin as the “putting-the-Christ-back-in-Christmas” fanatic, obviously relished playing the much-maligned Pujols. Matt Rippy as the “Christmas present-coveting newbie” was especially a hoot as young Clara in the Nutcracker.
The St. Louis audience had a great time playing along with the antics of these funny, funny actors, and if we are lucky enough to book them for next year’s Holiday Season, you should consider making this a must-see for your entire family!