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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"A Very Merry PDX-mas" @ Broadway Rose

Broadway Rose continues its tradition of being the local theatre 100% unafraid to be in the Christmas Spirit. I just finished praising Artists Rep's holiday-offering precisely for its strangeness, but it is certainly far too dark to put anyone into the mood for the season. For that, you must look exclusively to Broadway Rose.

"A Very Merry PDX-mas," as the title suggests, takes aim at some uniquely Portland things, and has quite a few name-dropping moments. Still, there is all of a sudden a very long break in that theme, so when it comes sputtering back about midway through Act II it seems somewhat out of place.

But, that is a minor quibble, as is its lack of any kind of "book." It is my preference to have even a slight structure in revues. I kept thinking back to 2013's Holiday show "A Christmas Survival Guide," which seemed to be on a more solid foundation due to a little bit of "book." Both shows also share "A Walk Through Bethlehem," which "Survival Guide" wisely chose to use as the Finale. Then again, "PDX-mas" had to leave room for a very cute little kid dance-off.

All-in-all, "PDX-mas" does fill an unexpected void,  there is no other unabashed tribute to yuletide fun, and when its competition is set in the Civil War, and "Santaland" is much more acerbic than I had remembered, one can not deny that it is needed.

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