Frosty The Snow Manilow
Troubadour Theatre Company – Falcon Theatre
Matt Walker and his troupe of Troubies continue their improbably consistent successful run of holiday comedies, blending Christmas storylines with a defined canon of music.
In years past, the productions were “It’s a Stevie Wonderful Life” and “A Charlie James Brown Christmas.” I am hopeful they will bring back a few shows I missed, like “A Christmas Carol King” or “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Motown” or “Little Drummer Bowie.”
While I have never been much of a Barry Manilow fan, the Troubies managed to make a believer of me for at least one night. Could it Be Magic was certainly well positioned for the Frosty story, as was Ready to Take a Chance Again. As with many Troubie performances, the inside jokes are clever even if they cut too inside. Those that weren’t aware of all the commercial jingles in Manilow’s oeuvre may have missed the reason for the presence of State Farm Insurance, Band-Aid and McDonald’s. But I think I recall the Troubie’s spoofing Coke’s I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing when in fact it was Pepsi for whom Manilow wrote.
This Troubie production featured far more dancing than I recall from prior productions, and it was well-honed.
Troubie veteran Rick Batalla was sparkling as Jack Frost. Pulled from the audience, Jack McGee started as the narrator and segued to Santa before the evening was through. The other cast members dug deep into McGee’s biography to rib him about prior work in MacGyver and Malcolm in the Middle. Beth Kennedy’s Winter Warlock was nimble, perched atop stilts beneath her robe. Frosty and Crystal were effectively played by Paul C. Vogt and Peter Allen Vogt.
The band added some needed funk to the Manilow songs, adding punch to Somewhere in the Night and Can’t Smile Without You.
This is another marvelous show from the Troubies.