If you’re looking for a light, frothy, feel-good show with some fun music this Christmas the Chemainus Theatre Festival has what you’re looking for.
The Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas, which runs until Dec. 31, is an ’80s flashback that will make you giggle, and probably hum along if you’re from that musical era. From matching Christmas attire in a gaudy holiday pattern to the longest flight known to man, and even a Christmas birth the show hits a lot of family seasonal motifs.
You’ll love the cast, which features David Adams as cheapskate patriarch Harry, Marlee Walchuk as his long-suffering wife Judy who loves him anyway, and Mack Gordon as the happy-go-lucky, wanna-be musician son Tommy. Emily Henney as the secretly pregnant daughter Sissy is a standout, and Alexander Nicoll as her overly earnest husband Kyle is up to the task as the in-law in this crazy family.
In supporting roles Alen Dominguez as Fernando and Andrea Pizarro as Dalila deserve high praise for making their roles as hotel staff, along with other bit parts, memorable and funny. Dominguez even manages to make the brief role as a Mexican customs agent hilarious.
The cast all delivers when it comes to the music that threads its way through the show. The musical numbers are stronger here than in the theatre’s show several years ago featuring the same fictional family, The Cornwall’s Countryside Christmas. The first musical number as the group all meets in the airport is a little subdued, but does not set the tone for the rest of the production.
A resort karaoke show delivers some great stuff to finish off the festivities, but my favourite numbers came earlier in the show. Watch for a wonderful duet between Harry and Fernando, for example, ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ between Harry and Judy, and a really funny duet between Sissy and Kyle on an ill-fated trip on a donkey.
Other laugh-out-loud moments came thanks to an unfortunate sunburn, the roundabout route the Cornwalls’ air travel takes thanks the Harry’s insistence on paying with points, hiding a pregnancy behind big hats and handbags, and the resort’s “very special presentation”.
All in all it’s a fun way to spend an evening over the holidays.
Get your tickets at chemainustheatre.ca