Anyone can revive A Christmas Carol (in fact, Seattle's ACT hosts the Charles Dickens classic on The Allen mainstage Nov. 29-Dec. 28). But this company is also dedicated to nourishing some new Christmastime talent with the world premiere of a new musical, HappyPants!, playing Dec. 7-29 in The Falls. David Hunter Koch directs and produces.
What is HappyPants!? They're a dysfunctional theatre family, a group of singers and performers led by former piano teacher, mascot and mad gift-wrapper Mrs. Irene Wilke and hosts National Chair Dancing Champions Fluff and Don LeQwape. The show promises "oodles of wonderful music, piles of gut-wrenching laughter and some of the most thrilling aerial gymnastics performed by hand puppets you'll ever see."
Scott Warrender wrote the music and lyrics to HappyPants!. He collaborated with Jim Luigs on Wagner parody Das Barbecu and a post-modern Cinderella, which premieres in Texas Dec. 6-21.
Colby Chester and Kit Harris play the LeQwapes with Louise Jennings as Mrs. Wilke, who demonstrates her present-wrapping skills with audience member participation. Also in the cast are David Brunelle (Vern Bin), Donald Collins (Bradley Creaks), Steve Handberg (Farrington Field), Clark McGuffie (West North), Ellen McLain (Viva Shirley-Quirk), Sandra Singler (Svetlana Dollop), Christy Vilareale (Melody Hillshire) and Kelly Wright (JoJo Lipp).
Tickets are $24.50-$29.50. The Allen at ACT is located at the corner of 7th Avenue and Union Street in downtown Seattle. For reservations, call (206) 292-7670. ACT Theatre is on the web at http://www.acttheatre.org. — By Christine Ehren