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The 12 Dates of Christmas

a One Woman Show
by Ginna Hoben

COMPANY : Aurora Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Discovery Point Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 4996

SHOWING : November 26, 2016 - December 23, 2016



While watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mary sees her fiancé kiss another woman on national TV! Over the next year, Mary is set up, hooked up, strung up, and fed up as she stumbles back into the dating scene! Renita James stars in this delicious one-woman show!

Director Megan Rose Houchins
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12 Huzzahs
by playgoer
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Ginna Hoben’s "The 12 Dates of Christmas" follows a year in the life of Mary, a struggling young actress, from her big family Thanksgiving one year through to the next year’s New Year’s Eve closing of "A Christmas Carol" production in which the actress appears. On that Thanksgiving, she has split from her fiancé in a very public and humiliating way. In the course of the following year, she goes through a number of boyfriends, has a big family blow-up, and eventually sees the possibility of a happy future.

Renita James does a wonderful job as Mary, impersonating various friends and relatives with concision and humor and incorporating audience interaction with great aplomb. It’s a very charismatic performance, and carries the entire show, aided by Stephanie McCoy’s numerous props. Megan Houchins has directed the show to have a lively flow

The set, designed by Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay, portrays a fairly generic living room, with a sofa, almost-matching ottoman, and chair. A hall tree stage right and an illuminated Christmas tree stage left are flanked by Victorian street lamps with ornate metalwork arches. A brick wall segment and a couple of frosted windows hang in the background. Larger frosted windows hang on the other three walls of the black box playing space, occasionally acting as projection screens, particularly for a nifty subway effect. Lights hang above, reminiscent of the shape of the Victorian street lamps. It’s a lovely and workable set.

Sound, designed by Daniel Terry, works just fine. The small playing area requires no amplification. James M. Helms’ lighting design has a great variety to set mood for various scenes, but the various levels of illumination across the front of the stage prove distracting in scenes with general lighting in which Ms. James moves back and forth across the stage, in and out of full light.

"The 12 Dates of Christmas" contains language that makes it suitable only for mature audiences, but the rest of the content never gets terribly racy. At heart, this is a wholesome story with a slightly sentimental ending, enlivened by the tang of Renita James’ all-in performance in which she goes all-out to bring the story to life. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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