Entertainment » Theatre

A Christmas to Forget

by Joe Siegel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Dec 3, 2018
Aaron Blanck in "A Christmas to Forget," which runs through December 9 at the Epic Theatre Company.
Aaron Blanck in "A Christmas to Forget," which runs through December 9 at the Epic Theatre Company.  

Epic Theatre Company finishes up 2018 with "A Christmas to Forget," a purely irreverent tribute to the holiday season that is a lot of fun.

Aaron Blanck, most recently seen in Burbage's "Shakespeare in Love," has created a unique showcase for his talents. Blanck wears three hats this time: as star, writer, and director.

Based on Blanck's album, "A Christmas to Forget" is a series of musical performances and skits performed in Artists Exchange's cozy Black Box theatre. Blanck throws everything into the mix to entertain an audience, including dueling puppeteers, a singing nun, and a demented elf. There is a Christmas tree on stage, along with plenty of holiday knick-knacks.

Blanck's material is silly, over the top, and occasionally tasteless. There are jokes referencing Kevin Spacey and Natalie Wood, as well as a Carole King song being performed while Jesus is being born. This will probably not be performed at the Vatican anytime soon.

No religion is spared Blanck's satirical touch. Blanck sings "I'll Be Home for Ramadan," and wears a dashiki in recognition of Kwanzaa.

"Hanukkah Helga" and Blanck duet on "Have Yourself a Happy Little Hanukkah."

There are also a few non-holiday tunes, including the Laura Branigan classic "Gloria," and a gleefully dark "Hazy Shade of Winter" featuring a troupe of masked dancers.

The always wonderful Kerry Giorgi also makes a stunning appearance as a legendary gay icon (no spoilers here).

Blanck's cast of performers, which includes Jack Clarke, Nora Garron, Daraja Hinds, Brian Kozak, Sarah Leach, Cassidy McCarten, Jennifer Pierel, Lauren Pothier, Derek Smith, and Katie Westgate, prove to be talented singers.

Blanck demonstrates a diva-like attitude and plows ahead with unbridled enthusiasm. He is willing to try anything for a laugh. His joy in performing is infectious and generates tremendous good will.

"A Christmas to Forget" isn't perfect: some of the gags don't quite work. But it is an entertaining alternative for anyone who isn't swept up in the spirit of the holidays.

"A Christmas to Forget" runs through December 9 at the Epic Theatre Company. Artists Exchange — Black Box Theatre. 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston, RI. For tickets, go to www.artists-exchange.org or www.epictheatreri.org

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.


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