Review: Holiday Hoopla

From the November 29, 2012 edition

While it seems wildly inappropriate for people to expect us to be in the holiday spirit when the calendar still says November, it’s nearly impossible to stay annoyed at the Santa Babies.

Back for their 21st year as part of Shadowbox Live’s “Holiday Hoopla,” the Babies — Dixie (Julie Klein), Dorothy (Stephanie Shull), Dolly (Stacie Boord) and their keyboardist Daphne (Jennifer Hahn) —haven’t aged a bit, and their take on everything from “Rudolph” to a holiday version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” is outrageously funny and full of audience participation.

Even though the Santa Babies are almost always the highlight of the Hoopla show, they’re hardly the only success story. Leading off the night, two aliens (JT Walker III and Nikki Fagin) try to understand Christmas and exactly how Santa Claus is related to Jesus.

In another original sketch, an increasingly frazzled office manager (Fagin) attempts to put together a fun and festive holiday party, but runs into a number of politically incorrect roadblocks.

The return of Vinnie (Jimmy Mak) and the holiday edition of his kid’s show are always good for a few laughs, but some returning characters don’t fare as well.

While it’s admirable that Shadowbox is attempting something new by turning Dasher (Mak) into an action figure, he gets lost in the mix of other toys in a post-Black Friday sale sketch. The final product is still amusing, but there’s a lot of lost potential.

The musical side of the stage was as great as ever, with returning hits like Amy Lay’s high energy “Oi to the World” and Fagin’s take on Elvin Bishop’s “Silent Night.”