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It's a 'Country Christmas' for Gaslight's Holiday Extravaganza

When is a holiday show not just a holiday show? When it’s part of an extravaganza. Gaslight Melodrama returns with its popular annual event offering "My Big Fat Country Christmas.”

Michael Prince, the theater's artistic director and co-owner, said this is a show within a show about the performers from The Big Fat Country Theater.

"It's the first time they’ve put on a country Christmas show and there's an unforeseen force that's quietly trying to sabotage the show," Prince said.

It's in the midst of the final rehearsal stages when things start to go a little haywire for the cast.

"Once they find out what's happening, it's up to them to bring it back around through the spirit of holiday magic."

Along from Kris Kringle (Michael Kubik), aka Santa, everyone has an alliterative name: Vicky Vixen (Ali Dougherty), Danni Dancer (Victoria Tiger), Pam Prancer (Maddie Vendsel), Dash Dasher (Chayce Perlis), Don Donner (Phil Beglin), Bob Blitzen (Adrian Francies) and Rudy Rudolph (Gabe Garcia).

The show features all country music, other than two classic R&B Christmas songs, most of which has never been included in a Gaslight show.

"We went out of our way to research songs," Prince said, noting that he and his wife, Jennifer, spent evenings over two weeks searching songs. "From Buck Owens to Loretta Lynn to Brooks and Dunn, it runs the gamut."

Prince said he loves all the song and dance numbers and that Dougherty and Tiger "knocked it out of the park with the choreography."

"Anytime the music starts for a song, I get giddy."

The show is followed by Gaslight musical director Warren Dobson's vaudeville revue "Fruitcake and Frankincense," which Prince said was a departure from the more traditional revue.

"We just wanted to try and do something a little different for Christmas this year. ... It's a full-on, huge Christmas variety show. It’s not like ones in the past with a story to it.

"It has different numbers, different sketches, all types of stuff. It’s a huge throwback classic."

With all the fun planned, Prince said the Gaslight is ready for its hectic schedule of 25 shows crammed into less than a month (some of which have already sold out).

"The holiday show is often a reflection on the year that has gone past. We want to give people an escape from reality. ... We're hoping that everybody is chock-full of the Christmas spirit and ready to ring out 2021."

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.