Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Christmas Peeps

I know it's time to head to Pennsylvania for Christmas when the holiday Peeps are all laid out, I've consumed a batch of gingersnap from Michele and I'm yearning for a trip to the tropics.

But who wants to be in a sun-and-surf paradise when there's so much great theater to see in cold and icy New York. I used some downtime last week to catch up on some shows that were just about to close — the messy but wonderfully acted and directed Prayer for My Enemy and Danny Hoch's hilarious Taking Over — and some that were just opening — Gina Gionfriddo's cutting, perceptive and hilarious Becky Shaw and Shrek the Musical, a show that's funnier and more delightful than it has any right to be. (It actually did a better job of putting me in the holiday spirit than the pleasant but staid White Christmas.)

And what a revelation Daniel Breaker is as Donkey. He's charming, funny but able to rein it in when tender moments are called for and always in the moment. How nice to see an actor play two such contrasting roles in successive seasons (he was the younger version of Stew in Passing Strange last year). It's one of the joys of being able to see so much theater year after year, a blessing I am grateful for.

Since the show features a leading man in greenface, I couldn't help thinking about environmental issues. As we took our seats, my pal Annie predicted that this would be a "confetti" show — and sure enough, we left the theater brushing little circles of paper out of our hair. Aside from the practice being annoying, is it environmentally sound in these times? When folks are paying $111 a ticket, I'd hate to deprive them of the thrill of having colored tissue paper dumped on their heads if it makes them feel like they're part of the show, but if others will join forces with me, I'm prepared to do my part to get this practice stopped.

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