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July 23, 2024

Oregon Cabaret Theatre will serve up a holiday farce

Prime Rib Playhouse
The cast of "Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse" features several Cabaret veterans. Rick Robinson photo
November 9, 2023

‘Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse’ marks the professional premiere of an original comedy

By Lee Juillerat for the Ashland.news

The Oregon Cabaret’s holiday comedy, “Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse,” opens Friday, Nov. 17. The production is the professional premiere of Erik Stein’s original holiday comedy.

In the play, Joel Kneedler, a recent college graduate, is described as a “fish out of water” as he tries to navigate the festive mayhem and the characters who make up the Prime Rib Playhouse. Among the personalities Kneedler deals with is an artistic director whose recent “reality” project adds to the comedic chaos. The farce features five original Christmas carols, and, says the Cabaret, “is set to deliver laughs to the Rogue Valley this holiday season.”

“Much like the classic theatrical farce ‘Noises Off,’ “Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse” gives us a behind-the-scenes look at creating a show that slowly spirals into disaster,” said Rick Robinson, the play’s co-director and the Cabaret’s managing director. “And we also get to watch when the backstage dysfunction spills out onto the stage in the show-within-a-show, a musical revue the Prime RIb Playhouse’s artistic director has called ‘Fa-La-La Ladies and Mistletoe Men.’ Add to that a fun romance and a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, and you have everything you want in a holiday comedy. We’ve laughed so much in rehearsal, my face hurts.”

Several Cabaret veterans are featured in “Prime Rib Playhouse,” including artistic director Valerie Rachelle. Deanna Ott, Matthew Tiberi, Matt Staley, Lauren Blair and Nicole Villavicencio. The play also includes a Cabaret newcomer, Toby Tropper.

“Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse” features an original script by Erik Stein with music and lyrics by Paul Marszalkowski. Making his Cabaret directorial debut is Alex Boyles, who is finishing up his first year as an associate artistic director. The play’s design team includes set designer Sean O’Skea, lighting designer Michael Stanfill, sound designer Lindsay Jones, props designer Jackie Perron and costume designer Arian Marie Moye.

If it were a movie, “Christmas at the Prime Rib Playhouse” would be rated PG-13. It has some mild coarse language and adult situations.

After its Nov. 17 opening, the play will run through Sunday, Dec. 31, with 1 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays and 8 p.m. evening performances on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights. The Dec. 31 performance will be a special event, featuring a full buffet and post-show entertainment that will continue until a champagne toast at midnight.

Reservations are required for preshow dinner or brunch. Appetizers, cocktails, beverages and desserts are available without reservations. Tickets are $43 for A-level seating with limited $39 B-level seating and $29 C-level seating. The Cabaret offers a 15% ticket discount for groups of 12 or more for select ticket types and performances. $15 student rush tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before curtain with a valid student ID, subject to availability.

For more information or to purchase tickets call the Oregon Cabaret Theatre box office at 541-488-2902 or visit oregoncabaret.com.

Email freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net.

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