note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Carl A. Rossi
Twinkle Kringle … Laura Napoli
Karl Kringle … John Kuntz
Baroness Tinsel Von Shatzdoodle; Page Turner; Mitzi … Rick Park
MY LIFE WITH THE KRINGLE KULT, John Kuntz’s Christmas present to Beantown, dealt with two of Santa’s elves, Karl Kringle and Twinkle Kringle, rescuing Christmas from the clutches of the monstrous Baroness Tinsel Von Shatzdoodle (there was also a giant ball of navel lint that turned out to be an alien….) --- had you passed it over for BLACK NATIVITY or the Stoneham production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, you would not have missed much; if you are an admirer of Mr. Kuntz’s arch brand of comedy, then MY LIFE WITH THE KRINGLE KULT was, no doubt, your (spiked) cup of tea. Mr. Kuntz has repeatedly been called a Genius; I continue to see a mean-spirited vaudevillian, both as an actor and as a playwright, who works the bitter side of Camp Street --- I keep hoping for the day when Mr. Kuntz will show us what is really on his mind and in his heart, but for now his laurels keep blocking his path.
Two cherished clowns, Laura Napoli and Rick Park, gave Mr. Kuntz invaluable support though slim, petite Ms. Napoli more or less reprised her wind-up-toy from last year’s EPIC PROPORTIONS and the hilarious Mr. Park gave us more frumpy, dumpy broads a la SPIKED EGGNOG II; Ms. Napoli’s perfectly proportioned physique, viewed through a red negligee, was visual proof that she is meant to play flesh-and-blood women and not just men’s travesties of them; looking and acting like Fred Flintstone in drag, Mr. Park can best be described as “delicately crass” --- his timing and facial expressions were truly Genius-worthy. Designers Jenna McFarland and Jeff Brewer came up with a child’s vision of a bright, twinkly Santa’s workshop --- all the better for Mr. Kuntz to wreak havoc on --- and K. Bud Durand’s soundtrack gave Mr. Park two running visual/aural gags: gun shots and screams whenever the Baroness introduced herself, and Triumph-of-Evil thunder-music whenever she gleefully shook her fists to the heavens.