Despite its flaws, RTP’s ‘We Three Lizas’ did entertain and amuse
The holiday season has officially begun. And the proof is at the Players. Nothing says welcome to the merry-making quite like the Richmond Triangle Player’s holiday opener.
You can expect a unique spin on a Christmas classic, stand out moments, a well-lubricated audience. . . and cute boys wearing next to nothing. The ingredients were there for RTP’s We Three Lizas to be a tasty treat. Unfortunately, it fell just a little flat.
The unique spin on a classic was there.
We Three Lizas re-envisions the Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol with iterations of Liza Minnelli as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. RTP’s production marked the East Coast premiere of this musical which originated in Chicago.
Scrooge – box maker Conrad Ticklebottom (Doug Schneider) – has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas in his obsession for fame and fortune. He’s lost the love of his life, his own company’s board has voted him out of a job, and he’s left with his quirky, bubbly and loyal assistant, Reggie (Morgan Meadows).
On the eve of Christmas, as his world is about to crumble, he is visited by Liza Was (Anne Grey Hogan), who shows him the Conrad Ticklebottom who had it all, Liza Is (Kirk Morton) who shows him what he’s become, and Liza Yet to Be (Tarnee Kendall Hudson) who offers him a last chance to atone for his sins of “gift abandonment” and “dream squashery.”
And there were some stand out moments to be sure. Hogan’s Liza Was was spot on, down to the infectious giggle. And she had the pipes to do Ms. Minnelli reasonably proud. And those legs . . .Morton as Liza Is was campy and fun.
Complete with the alcohol-induced shakes, this drag queen Liza was a crowd pleaser.
But Liza Yet to Be? I’m not really sure what to make of the Giant eyeballs on top of her head. But that’s not Hudson’s fault.
The best singing of the night was Meadows. Now she could sing me the yellow pages . . . or a Christmas Eve special Conrad’s Box catalogue.
There was a well-lubricated, if less than exuberant audience. They laughed and clapped and drank their cocktails ‘til their cheeks turned rosy. But it wasn’t the raucous crowd I’ve come to expect to usher in the ho-ho-ho.
And about those cute boys. An RTP holiday production wouldn’t be complete without boys in skimpy outfits. Young Conrad certainly was cute in his short-shorts and suspenders. Very cute. And the choreography took full advantage of his. . . assets. But he missed more than just a high note or two. Which might be overlooked, except that We Three Lizas is a musical about . . . Liza Minnelli.
Despite its flaws, We Three Lizas did entertain and amuse. The recipe wasn’t inspired, but it certainly wasn’t inedible.
We Three Lizas continues through December 13 at Richmond Triangle Players and includes a special benefit show in the spirit of the season for the Fan Free Clinic Food Pantry.
Tickets range from $13-$30
and can be purchased at www.rtraingle.org or by calling the ticket hotline at 804-346-8113.
lie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. She’s the proud mom of two young adult men and is slowly adjusting to having them both away at college. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is the newest member of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
Have a few cups of spiked eggnog and get over to RTP.November 29, 2016
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