Fans of the Troubadour Theater Company’s annual nutty Christmas confections are in for a treat with their 2013 offering, “Walkin’ in a Winter One-Hit-Wonderland” which opened to a sold-out audience on Saturday, December 14, 2013. Mashing up a lounge act with a “clip show” this production offers a retrospective of the Troubies' hilarious past with a liberal sprinkling of new numbers highlighting (and modifying the lyrics of) popular one-hit wonders and offering up big belly laughs.
Prior to the show snippets from past holiday productions are on view in the lobby and on a large screen above the set, and throughout the show clips of specific moments are used to support the loosely structured presentation. Man of many talents, Batalla produced the video.
Troubie Founder Matt Walker directed the show and is joined onstage with a smaller than usual cast including founding members Rick Batalla and Lisa Valenzuela, and Producing Associate Beth Kennedy, as well as returning ensemble members Katherine Donahoe, Andy Lopez, Suzanne Jolie Narbonne and Katie Nuñez.
In a storyline with a dash of Dickens and a splash of “It’s A Wonderful Life” recurring character Winter Warlock (Kennedy), decides to quit show business. Exploring what would happen if he did so provides much hilarity and one of the funniest moments in the production about the fate of the Falcon. Incidentally, Winter Warlock first appeared in “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Motown” and was such a hit he made repeat appearances.
As always the music by Musical Director Eric Heinly (drums), nimble-fingered pianist Kevin McCourt and bassists Dana Decker and Kevin Stewart is fabulous. Narbonne’s choreography is lively and energetic. Costume Designer Sharon McGunigle brought back costumes of Christmases past, as well as shiny new ones.
All Troubie shows involve a fair amount of improv and perhaps even more is a part of “Wonderland” delivering much of laughter throughout the one-act performance.
Newcomers to a Troubadour show might not get all the in jokes, but there are many great moments in the show that stand alone, and the spirit of the cast, crew and musicians is infectious. That’s the good news. The less good news is the show is pretty much sold out, but determined theater-goers are apt to succeed.
“Walkin’ in a Winter One-Hit-Wonderland” performs Wednesday through Sunday through January 19, 2014. Dark on December 25, 2013 and January 1, 2014. No 7 p.m. Show January 12 or 13. Added shows at 4 p.m. December 28 and January 4. Tickets are weekdays (Wed/Thurs) $34.50 – $37.00, opening night $52.00 – $57.00 and weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) $39.50 – $42.00 and student rate (valid student ID) $27.00. Call 818-955-8101 or visit www.FalconTheatre.com.
The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Dr. in Burbank.