A Very Phoenix Xmas celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The irreverent Christmas show has become an audience favorite as a nontraditional entertainment option during the holiday season. Anyone familiar with the show knows not to expect sugar and spice, but there are moments of quiet reflection worked into the production that hit all the right notes.
In honor of reaching the decade milestone, the show features longtime Phoenix regular Gayle Steigerwald in a unique role. Between skits she provides some behind-the-scenes tidbits and fun looks back at how the show has evolved over the years. The walk down memory lane is equally entertaining for those who have been at every show and for those attending for the first time.
For those unfamiliar with the structure, imagine a theatre version of a Saturday Night Live Christmas special. Each section features a new story, song, dance, or funny skit. Regulars will recognize the sock monkeys dancing the can-can and the Tron-like light costumes, but the choreographed numbers for each are brand new.
Eric J. Olson and Olivia Huntley were two vocal standouts during the show. The entire ensemble sang beautifully, but those two led the numbers. The Elohai N’tzor and Happy Xmas songs provided lovely, peaceful moments. Others bits, like The Happiest Christmas Tree, work because of the unbridled enthusiasm of Paul Hansen.
Sometimes the simplest concepts are the best. A skit built around the idea that someone shows up on Christmas Eve with an unexpected present is so instantly relatable. Another shares a common Christmas workplace wish in a way that would make any disgruntled employee grin. The timely Comandeer in Chief poked fun at the current presidential debates by reimagining them with reindeer.
There’s a reason this show has become an Indy Christmas tradition. Leave the kids at home and enjoy a night at the Phoenix to poke fun at a little bit of Christmas cheer.
Don't Miss the Show
For more information about the Phoenix Theatre, visit www.phoenixtheatre.org. The theater is located at 749 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis, just off Massachusetts Ave.
Performances: The show runs until December 20th and offers five performances a week. Wednesdays and Thursdays begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturdays begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets, call (317) 635-7529 or visit phoenixtheatre.org. Prices range from $22 to $35.
Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing.