'Naughty or Nice?'
There will be no pouting for lack of late-night entertainment through Christmas at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Look for a mix of professional and local talent in a holiday revue of comedy, song, dance and theater.
"It's kind of a trip back to the '20s, like 'Chicago,' but with a modern twist," says Christopher George Patterson, who stars in "Cabaret Christmas," now running at OCT.
The revue, called "Naughty or Nice?" is the late-night side of cabaret, Patterson says. But it's tasteful and fun for all ages.
Patterson and Ashland vocalist Shaeny Johnson will emcee six late-night performances. Shows are set for 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 8-9; Thursday, Dec. 15; and Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22-23. A 9:30 p.m. show is set for Monday, Dec. 19.
The mixed bag of shtick will include such gems as "Merry Christmas, Baby," performed by Patterson and Johnson. This R&B Christmas standard written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore reached No. 3 on Billboard's R&B chart during Christmas 1947.
"There will be a big production of Madonna's 'Hanky Panky,' with Natasha Harris (also part of the "Cabaret Christmas" cast) and a troupe of Ashland-based dancers — Veronica DeWitt, Alonzo Moore, Mark Barsekian, Anjali Altman, Juliana Wheeler, Colleen Slavin — done in the style of 'All That Jazz' " Patterson says. "It's very sexy and very sassy."
Look for Barsekian as a punk-rockin' grinch performing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and Patterson singing and tapping Harry Connick Jr.'s "The Happy Elf."
"Sugar Rum Cherry," Duke Ellington's jazzy rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Sugar Plum Fairy," will feature dancer Moore dressed in drag, accompanied by Johnson and Slavin.
"That one's done in the vein of the documentary 'Pageant,' very fun and silly," Patterson says. "Alonzo also appears dressed as Jackée Harry from the TV show '227' in our 'Suzy Snowflake' piece. It's a kids' Christmas song, but we do it with a late-night feel."
Kymberli Colbourne and Paul Wrona ("Cabaret Christmas") also jump into the entertainment. Colbourne will appear in the interactive, improvisational comedy skit "Miss Christmas Carol."
"It's a good mix," Patterson says.
It's all backed by a four-piece band featuring local favorites Tom Freeman on drums, Paul Jenny on guitar and trumpet, Carl Iverson on piano and bass player Jay Jorgensen.
Doors open 30 minutes before each show, and a bistro menu and beverages will be available. Tickets cost $15, $5 for students. Call 541-488-2902 or see www.oregoncabaret.com.