Monday, December 12, 2016

Have Yourselves a Hammy Little Holiday

Dweebs at camp - Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch (Chris Bennion)

Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork
Tongueinchic Productions/ACT Theatre
Through December 24, 2016

Some people go to A Christmas Carol at ACT Theatre as part of their holiday tradition. Some go to The Nutcracker, and some go to Seattle Men’s Chorus. Those who know where to get their dose of funny know to flock to Ham for the Holidays and Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt!

Somehow, each year, they come up with new skits and new comic commentary that hit the funny nail on the head! The only people who might not have very much fun sitting through their skits are Drumpf supporters. So, if you’re not, you might get some solace from laughing at some of the aspects of the 2016 political season.

These women never fail to deliver smart comedy. A whole lot of that comes from the catchy and gut-busting lyrics penned by Lisa Koch in parody songs.

Koch and Platt have a rotating roster of characters that surface intermittently each year and you never quite know who you’ll see. This year’s characters include the Slam Poet – she of the very quiet speaking voice and the huge declaiming boom.

In a way that gives an audience that familiar feeling, the Ham shows have some soothingly regular aspects that you can anticipate. There are lots of interludes of the strangest YouTube videos from who knows where. Some of them are holiday oriented and some are just strange. How ‘bout a clip of Tom Jones in a gold lamè jumpsuit with a significant package?

There is always a form of game show where two lucky audience members can participate. This year, Are You Smarter Than A Queen pits audience members against two famous queens. This year’s prize, three months of an ACTPass, is a really great one for people who like to attend a lot of theater!

You know you’re going to get choice selections from the Sequim Gay Men’s Chorus and this year, they have a new artistic director who is much pushier than Kenneth Dolman! But maybe his song selections are better? This year, we find out that Peninsula Housing For Aging Gays (PHFAG) has gone belly up and uprooted a couple of the members. But Tenor Johnathan has found a new special someone he introduces with some special lyrics…. And Les Miz will never be quite the same again!

Koch and Platt also bring back their duo Heartwood Mac to do medleys of songs that sound vaguely familiar, with very different lyrics. A brand new sketch has a couple of dweebs from Camp Stillasqueemish band together after being ostracized and they’re able to rise above it all in a heart-warming moment for all of us who felt teased as outsiders.

But the pièce de résistance of every year is a new opus from the far-flung mind of Mama Euomi Spudd, supported by her always-weary daughter Wynotta. This year, Euomi has decided to Spuddify Star Trek. So, prepare your phasers and beam yourselves up to Spudd Trek! It doesn’t really make much sense, but if you’re laughing hard, you don’t care!

Directed by David Hunter Koch (yes, Lisa’s brother!), the long-form sketch comedies are generally succinct and never wear out their welcome. It’s an art in itself to know when to cut something short.

Veteran sketch performer Michael Oaks is here, again for the fun, along with Joel Domenico, Abbey Drake, and musical director Bruce Hall. Domenico continues to expand his talents beyond his considerable beef-cake-ability, with an astoundingly good singing voice. Shout outs to the rest of the creative team of: Robert J. Aguilar (Lighting), Robin Macartney (Set/Props), Kim Dancy (Costumes), and Lisa Koch (Sound/Video).

Take your friends, down a glass or two ahead of time, and settle in for a lot of Ho Ho Hos and some Ha Ha Has.

For more information, call (206) 292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org