Dale Gutzman’s Holiday Punch Green
Spiked with humor and a generous spritz of decadence, Dale Gutzman’s Holiday Punch Green lightly focuses on environmental issues. Together with this politically correct “green” emphasis, the two-hour performance also spoofs Gutzmans’s longevity as the company’s artistic director. In these 28 loosely related sketches, the twelve cast members (including Gutzman who appears on stage to host the show) change costumes and scenes effortlessly in the intimate space while Chris Wszaleck’s piano and Patrick Hopkins’ percussion provide the music.
When returning to the theater after sipping real punch, the second act showcases the musical numbers Hard Candy Christmas, featuring the feminine side of Off the Wall, and If I Ruled the World sung solo by Gutzman. A very funny finale closes the show, which was never intended to offer family-friendly entertainment, with a piece that makes this all too apparent. Yet when Off the Wall’s Rickettes immortalize New York’s famous Rockettes to celebrate their 75th birthday the comedic choreography portrays the male cast baring their bellies and legs to conclude the evening with raucous hilarity.
While this spicy Holiday Punch may be a delightful drink for those seeking adult seasonal spirits and entertainment, the production will not be everyone’s cup of Christmas tea. These festive moments and music will certainly provoke that kick of sardonic laughter that is Off the Wall’s signature ingredient to the Milwaukee theater scene.
Off the Wall Theatre presents Dale Gutzman’s Holiday Punch Green through December 31. For information call 414-327-2552.