Photo Credit: Natasha Castillo

 

My holiday season got off to a great start with a Very Lenny and Those Girls Holiday Special at The Laurie Beechman Theater. Honestly, Didn’t know what to expect. And this holiday show was unlike any that I have ever experienced. Lenny and Those Girls (and their Guests) served up a genuine, and (at the same time) irreverent, holiday experience that struck just the right cord for the adults in the room, and their inner children.

Lennie Watts “Liza-in-the-Box”

As one might expect from the creator of The Arrangement Experience, the musical numbers were a a fantastic combination of something old and something new, starting  with a knockout arrangement of The Island of Misfit Toys (From The Clay-Mation Special “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer), Born This Way (Lady Gaga), and Let Your Freak Flag Fly (From Shrek), sung by Lenny and Those Girls dressed uniquely as a Liza-in-the-box, a Pirate with 2 eye patches, a Barbie with Shingles, a mermaid who can’t swim, and… a dradle. And, seeing Lennie Watts dressed as Liza Minnelli “All I Want for Christmas is my dignity” (as a jack-in-the-box, certainly wished for by a young Bob Mackie)  was well worth the price of admission.

 

Rick Jensen

Tanya Moberly

A cavalcade of guest stars proceeded to regale the audience, starting with Rick Jensen, singing an original tune, “Better Say Yes To Christmas”, while delivering some of the funniest lines of the evening (“I’m basically rolling the dice… I didn’t get a flu shot. It’s a very hard time of year. A lot of elderly people will be drawing their last breath by mid February.”) And, Tanya Moberly who offered her best Eric Cartman in Oh Holy South Park.

 

Those Girls: Eve Eaton, Wendy A. Russell, Karen Mack, Rachel Hanser, and Steven Ray Watkins at the piano

Those Girls beautifully interjected with Ding Dong Merrily On High. And Derek Staronowski (and all) treated us to the comical Santa Lost a Ho.

Stacy Sullivan

The evening proceeded with offerings by Janis Hall (Winter Arrives), Robin Kradles (12 Steps Of Christmas), and Amy Wolk (Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me). And songstress Stacy Sullivan brought the house down with two original songs, (Cold Enough to Snow, and Christmas 1969).

 

The evening concluded with Those Girls and Lennie taking turns with Ma’oz Tsur, I Heard The Bells, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, and Bout This Time Each Year. And, everyone joined in for Always Tomorrow and Put a Little Love in Your Heart.

L-R: Ricky Ritzel, Stacy Sullivan, Eve Eaton, Tanya Moberly, Wendy A. Russell, Janis Hall, Lennie Watts, Karen Mack, Derek Staranowski, Rachel Hanser, Robin Kradles, Amy Wolk, and Rick Jensen

I do hope that this becomes a yearly installment, as I found it the perfect way to celebrate the holidays and the art of Cabaret.