A comic holiday romp, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some),” will brighten the holiday season at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland Nov. 20 to Dec. 31.
“Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, a small company of actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told – including truncated versions of Christmas stories like ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Gift of the Magi,’ ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and ‘A Christmas Carol,’ “ explains director Rick Robinson. “This madcap holiday tour-de-force also includes live music, carols, stories about strange Christmas traditions from around the world, and topical pop-culture references.”
Written by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez’s “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” is described as a comic smorgasbord of stories and holiday carols, all told in a rapid-fire style by a hyperactive trio of actors.
“It’s a really brilliant piece and aims to hit you in the nostalgia bone, calling back to the Rankin Bass stop motion animation, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and the classic Grinch cartoon — all these things that we grew up on around the holidays,” Robinson says. “It’s a kitchen sink comedy that includes elements of audience participation, so it requires really skilled, high-energy improvisational comedians. This show is basically the perfect comedy for people who love all things Christmas.”
Cabaret newcomer Eleise Moore joins Cabaret favorites Stephen Kline and Katie Worley Beck in the cast. Kline returns after playing Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and has previously appeared at the Cabaret in several other plays. Worley Beck starred at the Cabaret as Judy in “9 to 5” and has also appeared in other productions.
The play was created by the three actors who first performed it — Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez — at Stage in New Jersey in 2003. The Cabaret’s production is the regional premiere of the show.
According to Robinson, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)” has a few moments of exaggerated comic violence and a reference to drinking alcohol and, if it was a movie, it would be rated PG.
Robinson, the Cabaret’s managing director, previously directed “Baskerville,” “The 39 Steps” and “Bat Boy (the Musical)” and wrote 2016’s “Pine Mountain Lodge” and adapted 2015’s “A Christmas Carol.”
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told” previews, Nov. 20, opens Nov. 21, and closes Dec. 31. Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 1 p.m. with evening performances at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There are no shows on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. There will be a special, 1 p.m. post-Thanksgiving matinee on Friday, Nov. 23.
Reservations are required for pre-show dinner or brunch. Appetizers, beverages, and desserts are available without reservations. Preview tickets are $25 for all seats. Tickets for other performances are $39 with limited $25 B-priced seating available for all performances. The Cabaret offers a 20 percent ticket discount for groups of 12 or more. If available, $10 student rush tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before curtain with a valid student ID. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Cabaret box office at 541-488-2902 or visit oregoncabaret.com.