A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas – Bonnie Goldberg

You may be disappointed that grandma doesn’t get run over by a reindeer, but that won’t stop you from enjoying the crazy doings at Lou’s Diner as the friendly folks there experience “A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas.” Written with tongue in cheek by Kristine Bauske, the Connecticut Cabaret in Berlin has pulled out all the stops and whipped up a blizzard for a Christmas Eve dysfunctional family epoch that needs, nay demands, a holiday miracle to resolve.

While the women folk gather at the homey Lou’s Diner to commiserate over being abandoned by their mates and the injustice of it all, we are introduced to the owner Lou Wexler (Karen Gagliardi) and her friends and co-workers Darlene (Tracey Brown) and Barbie Jo (Jennifer Nadeau). They have every right to be angry. After all, it is Christmas Eve and they want to celebrate the holiday.

Apparently their concerns don’t amount to a hill of beer cans as their men have run off to a hunting cabin that doubles as a man cave. Rick Bennett’s Jimmy, Chris Brooks’ Dave and Russell Fish’s Bill feel justified in their actions and not one whit guilty as the snow piles outside their door. As macho men, they have no one to answer to but themselves…that is until remorse sets in like a bear snuggling in for a long winter’s nap.

Meanwhile back at Lou’s, a new customer Bob (Dave Wall) serves as narrator and tells the December tale. Harkening back to Bethlehem, a very pregnant girl, Maria Pompile’s Mary Sue Barbie Jo Lou Archer, appears and soon disappears. Luckily a medical student James J. Moran’s Mark Riley has a hilarious time when the moment is right and saves the day.

Never fear director Kris McMurray is ready to play midwife and guarantees that a Christmas miracle occurs in all its glory, organizing the action on a clever revolving set designed by James J. Moran. The entire cast has upped their game for maximum merriment.

For tickets ($35), call the CT Cabaret, 31-33 Webster Square, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy refreshments at the concession set on site.

For more redneck fun and humor, plan to return to the CT Cabaret for a sequel, “A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Wedding” April 3 to May 2. Don’t forget to pre-order your main course: snappy sauted squirrel or mushroom stuffed venison. Presents are optional.

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