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‘Rum’ punch


Larry Laneer January 12th, 2011

For the second year, Ghostlight stages ‘Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum,’ a variety show with a different take on the holidays.

Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum: Eggnog 2: Electric Boogaloo
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Ghostlight Theatre Club
3110 N. Walker
286-9412
$30

Any theater company not presenting a variation of “A Christmas Carol” this time of year garners extra gold stars.

Seeking something different last season, Ghostlight Theatre Club came up with an original variety show called “Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum: A Christmas Spectacular!” Now, it presents an almost completely new show in this budding franchise, prodigiously titled “Screw the Eggnog, Pass the Rum: Eggnog 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Although “Eggnog 2” has its moments, it may be a victim of high expectations created by the successful “Eggnog 1.”

The uncredited writer or writers like to parody recent GTC productions, so “[title of show]” is spoofed as “[parody of show]”; “reasons to be pretty” becomes “Reasons to be Parodied”; and “Mindgame” is transmogrified into “The Island of Misfit Parodies.” The spoofs are true to their antecedents but seem perfunctory, comprising only half of the first act.

The show then gets down to business in a series of holiday-related skits varying in effectiveness. In “Walken in a Winter Wonderland,” Christopher Robinson does a credible imitation of the much-mimicked Christopher Walken reading “All I Want for Christmas Is a Hippopotamus.”

“‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Outtakes” reveals an alternate ending to the movie that is better than the real ending, or more believable, anyway.

GTC gets credit for really trying.

Act 2 opens with the song “12 Days of the Zombie Apocalypse.” Yes, zombies are hot right now. “Santa’s Celebrity Roast” is hosted by “Dean Martin,” and the roasters include “Jesus H. Christ” and the Tooth Fairy (played with sibilant efficacy by David Mays).

Television personality Ron Stahl (really Stahl, not an actor playing him) narrates a long set piece titled “‘A Christmas Story,’ Ghostlightsized” in which Mays plays himself trying to break into show business. The skit includes a scene in which Mays delivers a profusely profane rant that is the highlight of the show, by far. This is the provocative point at which one would like to see “Eggnog” shows begin and get edgier from there.

Presented at GTC’s intimate storefront space, the show is staged on what for this company amounts to a lavish set design. The production runs two-and-a-half hours and would be stronger edited to 90 minutes. It includes much local color, including references to both Sally Kern and B.J. Wexler. One of the funniest lines is when Mays asks some playground bullies in the “Christmas Story” skit. “Are you guys going to see ‘A Territorial Christmas Carol’?” They likely are not.

Although “2” doesn’t spike the wassail as the first, the “Eggnog” shows have not run their course. You can’t dismiss any Christmas show that includes a living nativity scene with a Magus toting a submachine gun.

 
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