Have you ever wondered how holiday tragedy can be turned into the most hilarious 90 minutes you’ve had in a theatre? If you have, the Aurora Theatre has the thing for you. The Aurora Theatre’s funniest shows to date are “The 12 Dates of Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol”. Both shows are performed by only one actor and they’re brilliant.
Breaking the Myth of the One Man/Woman show
When most think of a one person show they think it’ll be someone’s life story or even a more standup like setting. In some instances, it is but sometimes you luck up on an incredible show. I found this pot of Gold twice in these holiday shows.
Just in time for the holidays, the Aurora brings the incredible Renita James in the funniest play I’ve ever been to. “The 12 Dates of Christmas” is a hilarious telling of 12 months in the life of Renita’s character, Mary. The show starts with Mary enjoying the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when she sees her Fiancee with another woman. This kicks off 12 months of dates, one outrageous and hilarious story after the next. This show is a definite must see.
Renita owns the stage, your emotions, and attention for the entire show. When you walk into the theatre she’s just hanging out and talking with other audience members. You wouldn’t even think she’s in the show until she asks you if you’d be apart of it. This was my case on the day I went, she asked me to be apart of the show and of course I said yes.
I won’t spoil the show but if you get the chance to be apart of the show, DO IT. It was so much fun! She makes you feel comfortable on stage and never leaves you out alone. She’s there to guide the whole time.
But again this is 90 whole minutes of material that she knows. There’s no calling “Line” or doing another take, it’s all live and in your face. When I asked her how long it took to memorize the show she said it took six months. SIX WHOLE MONTHS. And I understand exactly why it took all the time. This is an incredible peace with a fully formed and dimensioned character. Not only does it look effortless but it’s flawless.
Then you have the holiday classic, “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” this may be my favorite version of this story. You see 20 theatres do it every year, but I love the one man show idea. Anthony Rodriguez reprises the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and everyone else again for the eleventh year in a row. It’s clear he’s no stranger to the text but he still makes if feel fresh and new. There’s a lively element to it that I believe keeps it fresh, the audience. Every show is different and steering that ship must be fun.
He has limited time to steer the ship of imagination but when he’s steering, he gives it all. From sweat to, smoke covered stages, to glitter throwing be prepared for this awesome holiday classic. these shows are running from now until Dec. 23, 2017 and you can also catch their mainstage show, “The Christmas Canteen” closing on the same day. What should you expect from an Aurora Theatre holiday show? lots of laugh and glitter.
Also I want to send out a huge shoutout to the set designers, crew, and stage manager, Anna Lee, for making sure this theatre continues to make quality theatre.