Sar­casm, sen­ti­men­tal­ity and more

Lo­cal the­aters of­fer di­verse takes on the hol­i­days

GA Voice - - HOLIDAY GUIDE - By Jim Farmer

Hol­i­day time at lo­cal the­aters tra­di­tion­ally brings fa­mil­iar of­fer­ings as well as some newer fare, much of it ap­peal­ing to LGBT pa­trons.

Of course, will be back for its 14th out­ing at Hori­zon The­atre. The com­edy has proven to be the grand­est gaythemed of­fer­ing of the en­tire sea­son. Based on gay writer David Sedaris’ own ex­pe­ri­ence, as told in his “Hol­i­days On Ice,” it stars Harold M. Leaver as the snarky ti­tle char­ac­ter, forced to work as a de­part­ment store elf dur­ing the hol­i­days one year when money is tight.

Leaver’s co-stars are Enoch King, now in his sixth year, and LaLa Cochran. Leaver still shakes his head at how suc­cess­ful “San­ta­land” has be­come. What started as a staged read­ing now of­ten sells out its en­tire run.

Last year, Leaver says, was the most suc­cess­ful sea­son yet and 2012 will be ripe with all sorts of pop cul­ture and po­lit­i­cal ref­er­ences.

Les­bian di­rec­tor Cathe Hall Payne is stag­ing

“The San­ta­land Di­aries” “Nun­crack­ers – the Nunsense Christ­mas Mu­si­cal”

at On­stage At­lanta. The hol­i­day fol­low-up to “Nunsense” features a cast of nuns try­ing to raise money and all orig­i­nal songs, says Payne. On­stage is also pro­duc­ing

a se­ries of eight one-act plays. Payne is di­rect­ing one of the shorts, as are gay artists Char­lie Miller (“Very Trudy Christ­mas”) and Barry West (“In­tro­duc­tion” and “Colic & Petty Thief: A Christ­mas Story”). Th­ese are the last shows at the cur­rent lo­ca­tion be­fore the com­pany moves to a new home in 2013.

Lo­cated at the home of the late, great The­atre in the Square, the new Marietta The­atre is pre­sent­ing It’s part of the “Tuna” tril­ogy by openly gay Ed Howard, also the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the new troupe, and

Hol­i­day Shorts,”

“Merry Lit­tle


“Tuna Christ­mas.”

features two ac­tors — Wil­liam Mur­phey and Dou­glas Ber­lon — play­ing a plethora of characters, in­clud­ing women.

Gay ac­tors Spencer Stephens and Bryan Mercer are team­ing up again for Syn­chronic­ity’s mu­si­cal “Although more about friend­ship than the hol­i­days, it’s proven to be a pop­u­lar fix­ture and is a Suzi Award win­ner. Else­where, out ac­tor Glenn Rainey ap­pears in The­atri­cal Out­fit’s

A Year With Frog and Toad.”

“The Gift of the Magi.”

Per­haps the most lav­ish hol­i­day on­stage treat is the Al­liance The­atre’s

again fea­tur­ing Chris Kayser do­ing a


“A Christ­mas

turn as Scrooge. The Al­liance also has a new of­fer­ing this year, the mu­si­cal

fea­tur­ing a coun­try west­ern trio who are set­ting up a honky tonk at the Al­liance’s Hertz Stage.

Libby Whit­te­more, the pop­u­lar chanteuse, brings her inim­itable pipes – as well as her al­ter ego, Con­nie Sue – to Ac­tor’s Ex­press for


“Hol­i­day With the

“Ho, Ho, Home for the Hol­i­days and a Con­nie Sue Day Christ­mas”

in De­cem­ber. Among the new hol­i­day of­fer­ings, gay bar Jun­gle At­lanta turns into a Parisian night­club – at least for two up­com­ing week­ends.

a re-imag­in­ing of the gay French clas­sic “La Cage Aux Folles,” opens there Nov. 23.

Orig­i­nally a 1973 play about the chaos that en­sues when a young man brings his fi­ancée’s con­ser­va­tive par­ents home to meet his barowner fa­ther and his fa­ther’s gay lover, “La Cage” be­came a 1978 film, which bore two se­quels. It spawned a 1983 Broad­way mu­si­cal, penned by Har­vey Fier­stein, as well as the 1996 film “The Bird­cage” with Robin Wil­liams and Nathan Lane.

Di­rec­tor Tony Smithey is tak­ing some lib­er­ties with his premise. In his take, which is set in At­lanta, a young cou­ple has to deal with one’s straight par­ents and the other’s gay par­ents while on col­lege break dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son.

“We have also added a few characters,” he says.


More hol­i­day fare

“Birds of a

Two years ago, a stage ver­sion of

opened dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son at the Cen­ter for Pup­petry Arts and be­came a sen­sa­tion. It’s back as well this year and its tale of an out­sider look­ing for ac­cep­tance is es­pe­cially rel­e­vant – and fun.

Other treats in­clude: at Fabrefac­tion; courtesy of At­lanta Lyric The­atre; the Martin Luther King drama via True Col­ors;

at Ans­ley Park Play­house and a “live ra­dio play” ver­sion of the same show

dolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer”

“Lit­tle Women” “White Christ­mas”

“The Moun­tain­top” A Won­der­ful Life”


at Stage Door Play­ers; Cobb En­ergy Cen­ter; Aurora The­atre; and the ir­rev­er­ent

at Dad’s Garage.

Christ­mas Carol”

For the 14th year, Harold Leaver stars in ‘San­ta­land Di­aries’ at Hori­zon The­atre, the stage adap­ta­tion of gay hu­morist David Sedaris’ hi­lar­i­ous, bit­ing ac­count of his days as a de­part­ment store elf. (Photo via Face­book)

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