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Hilarious “Mrs Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” at the Dio (review) December 5, 2015

Posted by ronannarbor in Theatre.
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Christopher Durang’s (2002) hilarious play with songs, Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” has stormed and taken over the Dio stage in Pinckney, and its a giddy blast.

Take one part “A Christmas Carol” and one part “Its a Wonderful Life”; throw in a dash of Saturday Night Live and one-liners that wouldn’t have been out of place on Laugh-In,  and a pinch of politics…plus lots of booze, and Benny Hill without the boobies…and you have an irreverent backward tale of holiday woe — and a non-stop laugh riot.

What happens when the ghost(s) of Christmas Past, Present, and Future take Scrooge around to visit scenarios and they all play out better with dysfunctional endings! And what would Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley have to say about it all?

The fun ensues because of the swift, fun direction by Steve DeBruyne, and the excellent cast that delivers the jokes deadpan and spot-on. Dale Dobson plays Ebenezer, Vanessa Sawson the troubled wife of Bob Cratchit (Steve DeBruyne). They all turn in funny performances with great timing. Brendan Kelly has the evening’s funniest role as Tiny Tim (and later something else I won’t give away here). Jared Schneider made me laugh simply by throwing out random Spanish phrases during a bar scene. Mark “the third will visit when the clock strikes three” Bernstein has a hilarious turn as Jacob Marley’s ghost. The rest of the cast are all outstanding in their many various small roles including a maid in drag (Victor McDermott), kids (Gavin Burwell, Dominic Ignagni, and Kylie Scarpace), Little Nell (don’t ask) Amanda Durham, also Ebony Hull as all three Ghosts and Natalie Rose Sevick as “nice Mrs Cratchit”. Bravo to these merrymakers.

To say that the piece is unusual is an understatement — but it is filled to the brim with some of the funniest stuff to grace a holiday stage in a long time — and it is highly recommended.

Tickets, if any remain, can be purchased online at diotheatre.com or calling (517) 672-6009.



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