Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Christmas Belles"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Carl A. Rossi


"CHRISTMAS BELLES"

by Nicholas Howe, Jessie Jones and Jamie Wooten
directed by Greg Maraio
dialogue coach … Katie Higgins

Geneva Musgrave … Maureen Adduci
Rhonda Lynn Lampley … Jackie Davis
Frankie Futrelle Dubberly … Barbara Douglass
John Curtis Buntner … Terrence P. Haddad
Justin Waverly … Marc Harpin
Raynerd Chisum … Rory Kulz
G. J. Dubberly … Kara Manson
Patsy Price … Mary Niederkorn
Honey Raye Futrelle … Heather Peterson
Twink Futrelle … Carrie Ann Quinn
Dub Dubberly … Dave Sanfacon

CHRISTMAS BELLES, over at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, is one humongous Frito Pie, and you are required to consume two hours of it before leaving the table. While getting overly-stuffed, I enjoyed this redneck farce about three Texan sisters and their loved ones, friends and enemies as they pull through yet another trailer-trash Christmas and produce the annual Nativity pageant where everything goes wrong yet, somehow, turns out right. If you’re familiar with the two-actor GREATER TUNA and TUNA CHRISTMAS, here is more of the same for a dozen actors sans one and, like its predecessors, CHRISTMAS BELLES is written with love but without condescension.

Director Greg Maraio has assembled a grand assortment of clowns, comics and holy fools, here, and they each get their turn to shine (often, which accounts for the evening’s length). Oh, please, please, don’t make me single out any individual for praise for each is great fun in his or her own way, though I will commend Katie Higgins for her dialogue coaching --- I soon forgot I was in Boston with the winter’s first snowfall, just outside --- and Mr. Maraio and Jared Fennelly for their heady, dayglo setting: popular culture pushed just enough to be outrageous yet still be of this planet.

The evening I attended was, by and large, Girls’ Night Out --- indeed, CHRISTMAS BELLES may well be perfect holiday fare for those female gift-shoppers craving rowdy, non-stop laughs before trudging on to Cosco, BJ’s and Wal-Mart…

"Christmas Belles" (4 - 19 December)
PHOENIX THEATRE ARTISTS/ COMPANY ONE
@ Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, BOSTON, MA
1 (866) 811-4111

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide

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