StageCoach Theatre Company’s ‘Santa’s Funky Hawaiian Christmas Cabaret’ a clever, enjoyable twist on holiday favorites

Mele Kalikimaka all y’all!

This lively original musical collaboration between Director Joey Olson and Producer Jerri Wiseman captured the entire audience from the moment we all got “Lei’d” during the opening number “Mele Kalikimaka.” Our cast of six brought the song’s vintage sound, originally popularized by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, to life right before our eyes.

L-R: Joey Olson, Jolene Vettese, Doug Marcks, Katie Pond, and Kat Brais singing
L-R: Joey Olson, Jolene Vettese, Doug Marcks, Katie Pond, and Kat Brais singing “Mele Kalikimaka” in StageCoach Theatre Company’s ‘Santa’s Funky Hawaiian Christmas Cabaret.’ Photo by Laura Mills.

More than two dozen classic holiday tunes were presented with every emotion and an amazing range of vocal styles.

Doug Marcks and Joey Olson vamped through a clever version of Mr. Snow Miser and Mr. Heat Miser, respectively, which you may recall from the Rankin/Bass 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas special The Year Without a Santa Claus.

The trio of Kat Brais, Katie Pond, and Jolene Vettese sang “Jingle Bells” with Doug Marcks and I could imagine a delighted USO tour audience of servicemen and women.

Marcks had all the ladies swooning during his saucy presentation of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (written by lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent, and originally performed by Bing Crosby in 1943).

Pond and Marcks absolutely murdered “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (written by Frank Loesser in 1944). Their preposterously politically corrected version – complete with cue cards on stage – resulted in wild laughter.

Joey Olson, backed by Katie Pond, Kat Brais, and Lisa Alford, sings
Joey Olson, backed by Katie Pond, Kat Brais, and Lisa Alford, sings “Traveling Man” in StageCoach Theatre Company’s ‘Santa’s Funky Hawaiian Christmas Cabaret.’ Photo by Laura Mills.

Olson, in his Santa costume, dedicated a heartfelt solo of the 1960s hit “Travelin’ Man” to his dad, who passed recently.

Vettese mesmerized the crowd with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane in 1943, and originally performed by Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis). Her perfectly pitched presentation was a flawless stunner.

The whole ensemble offered “Silent Night” in 5-part harmony which left tears of joy in my eyes.

Kat Brais gave us “River” from Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue. It was melancholy, strong and soulful. She closed with the thought “Christmas is a bad time to break up” and the room gave her an emotional air hug.

Lisa Alford treated us, in her words, to a “Chocolate Shake” version of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.”

Additionally, on this special night we were all privileged to enjoy an amazing meal presented by Matthew of Pure Perfection Catering in Herndon, VA.

The evening was full of highlights and I hope you can make time to treat yourself to this merry little Christmas show!

Running Time: Ninety minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission.

Santa’s Funky Hawaiian Christmas Cabaret performs through December 22, 2019, at the StageCoach Theatre Company, 20937 Ashburn Road, Suites 115 and 120, Ashburn, VA. For tickets, call the box office at 571-477-9444 or go online.

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