A CHRISTMAS CHAOS is a delightful satire of theatrical backstage mayhem of Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Michael Wehri is the playwright and you can actually get him to direct the play, although at what fee I do not know! He has written and adapted dozens of full length plays (all of which have been produced), and hundreds of short stories and scenes for students. Four of his works have been published.
Under the able direction of Stewart Ayers, sixteen cast members, mostly teenagers, take to the stage and hilarity ensues. It seems the Royal Shakespeare Company wound up in Burlington on time for the show but in Burlington, Vermont not Burlington, New Jersey. But the show must go on…So with just a few hours to prepare it’s curtains up. After a few minutes we start to forget these are actors playing actors and get caught up in the hilarity of it all. Those of us involved in theater , I think, find that some of what occurs to be very close to reality.
Though I can’t mention everyone by name, the entire cast did a great job. Ethan Randell plays Gregory, the snooty actor who is playing Scrooge. He does an admirable job, portraying his dismay as dozens of things go awry. Angel Ezell as Pamela is consistently adorable. Ava Hayes as Marina turns in a very good performance (love the sequin beret!). Jessica Ciotto as Scrooge’s nephew has us laughing every time she is onstage, even though she doesn’t want to be there. Brenna Piotrowski, as Sara, does a terrific job especially as the ghost of Christmas past and present. Marie Davall as the stage manager gave a good portrayal…calm and annoyed at the same time…just like real life! Caroline Piotrowski as Brynn turns in one of the best performances in the show. She is just delightful as the over-medicated, stuffy-nosed actress who keeps stumbling onstage in the wrong costume and is just hilarious each time. Sarah Lloyd as Linda does such an hysterically terrific job as Mr. and Mrs. that the audience gave her instant applause at the end of her bit. Very well deserved. At the end of the show we are treated to a wonderful Christmas-y light show complete with dancing, some nice choreography throughout by Jessi Meisel.
All in all, a delightful way to spend a few hours…lots of laughs and good cheer for the holidays. Go see it!
A CHRISTMAS CHAOS
by Michael Wehri
Directed by Stewart Ayers
November 28 – December 6, 2014
Bridge Players Theatre Company
Broad Street United Methodist Church
36 East Broad Street
Burlington, NJ 08016