Review: A Very Phoenix Xmas 

A look at the 10-year production of A Very Phoenix Xmas X: O Come, Let Us Adore Us by the Phoenix Theatre

  • Zach Rosing Productions

4 stars

A Very Phoenix Xmas X: O Come, Let Us Adore Us, presented by the Phoenix Theatre brought the spirit of the holidays with a whimsical pastiche of festive skits that entertained audiences by getting them into the holiday spirit. Both touching and humorous performances by the cast proved to be just the right mix of holiday potpourri. With this being the tenth anniversary run of A Very Phoenix Christmas, a few skits from years past were brought back but were re-imagined with new choreography and content. Making her appearance as a witty poinsettia, sparkling ornament, and quirky cactus was narrator Gayle Steigerwald, who led the audience down memory lane by presenting snapshots from previous show years in between each skit.

Production highlights included a tap dancing Christmas tree performed by Paul Collier Hansen in "The Happiest Christmas Tree," along with dancing sock monkeys who returned this year in "The Christmas Can-Can." A heated presidential reindeer debate in "Comandeer in Chief" included a holiday discussion of issues. Strong vocal performances by Olivia Huntley and Eric Olsen in "Happy Christmas" along with Scot Greenwell's comically clever performance as a Jewish Christmas tree in "Oh, Tannenbaum" were refreshing and inspiriting. Rob Johansen's performance in "Putting Away the Decorations" was touching. Music throughout was a mixture of vintage holiday favorites and contemporary pieces.

Curator and director Bryan Fonseca's adept direction paired with Mariel Greenlee's original choreography gave A Very Phoenix Xmas an engaging and cheerful quality resulting in a cohesive production that wasn't that naughty, but was nicely irreverent.

 Through Dec. 20. Phoenix Theater, 749 N. Park Ave.,

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