Play by Play: December 4, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 2, 2009

OPENING

ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE | Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans pin some tinsel on the Oscar-winning 1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film All About Eve, with Landry hamming it up as Bette Davis's Margo Channing, her coiffure a shoulder-length halo of auburn curls, her painted lips a permanent twist approximating the actress's signature sneer. The show is set in Boston, and Channing is appearing not in an ante-bellum melodrama but in a holiday travesty titled Party on the Pole that enables both Landry and Penny Champayne (as Eve Harrington) to appear in fur bikinis accessorized by reindeer antlers. Apart from the disco-choreographed sacrilege that is the award-winning Harrington vehicle No, No, Nativity (itself worth the price of admission), there are few surprises in this gaily bedecked parody, most of which is lifted straight from the movie and sent to winter camp. But the show is as puerile and lively as most Orphans fare, and Landry, in pushing Davis's Channing over the top, proves this is territory in which measurement is exponential. | Machine, 1254 Boylston St, Boston |www.brownpapertickets.com| December 4-27 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 5 pm Sun | $35-$45

CHRISTMAS BELLES | "It's Christmas time in the small town of Fayro, Texas, and the Futrelle Sisters are not exactly in a festive mood. A cranky Frankie is weeks overdue with her second set of twins. Twink, recently jilted and bitter about it, is in jail for inadvertently burning down half the town. And hot-flash-suffering Honey Raye is desperately trying to keep the Tabernacle of the Lamb's Christmas program from spiraling into chaos." That's the set-up for this holiday heartwarmer penned by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten and presented jointly by Company One and Phoenix Theatre Artists. Phoenix Theatre's Greg Maraio directs. | Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston | 866.811.4111 | December 4-19 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25; $20 students, seniors

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS | Revels' annual celebration of the shortest day this year draws on "the rich and abundant folk traditions of North America," with musical contributions "from Appalachia, from the African-American South, from the pastoral Shaker communities, and from our own New England." The performers will include traditional singer and clogger Suzannah Park, David Coffin (celebrating his 30 years on the Revels stage), gospel singer Janice Allen, Native American flute player Leon Joseph Littlebird, actress Bobbie Steinbach, the Cambridge Symphonic Brass Ensemble, the Smoky Mountain Dancers, the Pinewoods Morris Men, the Roaring Gap Chorus, and the Rocky River Children. | Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St, Cambridge | 617.496.2222 | December 11-27 | Curtain 7:30 pm Mon [December 21] | 3 + 7:30 pm Wed [December 23] | 7:30 pm Thurs [December 17] + Fri [no Christmas Day] | 3 + 7:30 pm Sat | 1 + 5:30 pm [no evening December 27] Sun | $25-$52; $15-$42 children under 12

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Related: Dodging death, Play by Play: December 12, 2009, Holiday shorts, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Black Sabbath, Holidays, Karen MacDonald,  More more >
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