UPS delivers practically everything these days, including haunting reminders of a selfish life. Christopher Durang’s musical parody “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” rang the doorbell and smacked a Mayan Hall audience with a wiseass version of “A Christmas Carol,” minus most of the Christmas.
A sassy UPS delivery girl (Pamela Castillo) portrayed the Ghost of Christmas Past. She zapped Ebenezer Scrooge (William Carlton) with a ray gun when he tried to “humbug” his way out of the time-lapse. Whether it was singing or joking, Castillo owned the stage with a memorable performance.
Castillo should have zapped Durang for his overuse of Scrooge’s signature “Bah, Humbug!” and for sucking all the Christmas out of the “Christmas Binge.” Durang, though, can be wickedly funny. Tiny Tim (Andre James Gonzales) caused gales of laughter when he helplessly bit on a raw fish for five minutes after begging Mrs. Cratchit (M. Susan Peck) for some food.
Thanks to the great lighting crew, the colorful illumination elevated scenes and set them apart. When the group sang, lights flashed like a nightclub and the party was on.
That Christmas feel was missing throughout the production. Costumes of neon green, orange high socks and purple hats replaced traditional holiday outfits. A Spartan set had no props or decorations besides a lonely brown table. Director Ruff Yeager and company made the point that Christmas lives in the heart.
Santa was not invited to “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” for good reason. It tilted toward the naughty, which made the theatre-going experience kinda nice.