Step1 Theatre Project’s twisted holiday tales provides a refreshing diversion from the usually saccharine sweet holiday affairs. The six short plays are all connected through The Illustrated Xmas Sweater, directed by Janelle Zapata, where an overly enthusiastic christmas mother (Lara Fox) is told the stories by her beloved “ugly holiday sweater”. Each of the plays, written by the incredibly talented Ashley Lauren Rogers, deal in strange and macabre situations that subvert typical tropes. What sets these short plays apart however, is Ashley’s ability to write past her own premises and fill her scenes with compelling characters.
Each of the plays are compelling in their own way, but special mention must be made of a few. Becky’s Christmas Wish, directed by Benjamin Abraham, delivers a premise so darkly hilarious you’ll be half cringing and half laughing until it’s twisted conclusion. The Mall Satan, directed by Janelle Zapata, is a typo turned into a brilliant premise that is helped from great to excellent by Amanda Brennan’s costume design and the marvelous acting of Sara Minisquero and Smantha Glovin. Finally special mention must be made of the shows longest piece: Brocreation, directed by Maria Aladren. It’s a campy, slightly-queer take on the terminator story full of lasers and attempted with an incredibly talented cast with the guts to commit as the chaos unfolds around them in this low tech sci-fi story.
All in all Falsehoods, Fallacies, & Fairy Tales was a wonderful diversion from the usual holiday hits list. It’s a great show full of talented performers who will keep you entertained right up until the last elf-explosion. Happy Holidays.
Conor Mullen is a NYC based theater artist. You can learn more about him and his work at www.conordmullen.com or follow him try to review 52 video games in 52 weeks at www.gamingfireball.wordpress.com.