The Troubadour Theatre Company has become something of an institution around Southern California. This ensemble of actors, singers, gymnasts, and clowns has been performing in and around Los Angeles since 1995. Led by the infinitely talented Matt Walker who directs, writes, cajoles, and guides this troupe of zanies, they have specialized in doing “adaptations” of classic plays as well as their own original works and sketch material. Their Christmas presentations are eagerly anticipated and almost immediately sell out.
Some of their past shows include It’s a Stevie Wonderful Life, Santa Claus is Coming To Motown, A Christmas Carole King, Little Drummer Bowie, and JACKson Frost. You get the idea. They incorporate the music and style of some musical icon to tell a particular Christmas story using gags, improvisation, audience involvement, puppets, and song and dance.
A Charlie James Brown Christmas uses the familiar television special and the music of James Brown (with changed words) to make a delightful evening of Christmas foolery. “Linus” was a droll Simon Yin telling people to get over the fact that “Linus” wasn’t Asian. The funny and vocally talented Lisa Valenzuela portrayed “Lucy.” Mike Sulprizio played the sad sack title character. “Marcie”, the sexually confused (here) friend of “Peppermint Patty (Beth Kennedy), Audrey Siegel as the voluptuous “Sally”, and Matthew Morgan as the piano-playing “Schroeder” help round out the cast. Matt Walker was the Rod Serling-esque master of ceremonies and the hyperactive “Snoopy”. Almost always onstage as a kind of safety net for the proceedings, he is an accomplished actor and clown and it is obvious the company loves him and vice versa.
All I can add is that I eagerly look forward to their next venture. At The Falcon Theatre until Jan. 20.