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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 2, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 48
This year's Ham is to die for!
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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This year's Ham is to die for!

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Ham for the Holidays: A Lard Day's Night
Theatre Off Jackson
Through December 24


There are big doings in Sequim! The Sequim Gay Men's Chorus has had to make some changes after two of them ran away together, breaking the heart of the remaining tenor. Choirmaster Kenneth Dolman has recruited a Lesbian couple, Ro and Judith, who run the Pussywillow Cove B&B in Port Ludlow, and therefore has had to change their name to SQUEEL (Sequim Queer Unified Ensemble Entertainment League). Still, their choralography remains true to form as they perform a medley of Christmas favorites, and even change Paul Simon's '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' to '50 Gays Who Live in Poulsbo'!

Yes, it's that time of year again, when Spudds and Gay chorus members and game shows hit the stage all at once at Theatre Off Jackson, the putative home of Ham for the Holidays. This is the 11th iteration of their holiday pun-happy hijinks. Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt are funny ladies with chameleon-like abilities to turn into characters from Michele Bachmann to Wynotta Spudd, and from Kirstie Alley to Euomi Spudd.

It's become the un-holiday holiday tradition for a lot of folks who need a laugh and some time away from what is often a huge stressor. Perhaps a little on the blue side for young children, the show is still good family fare for tweens and up.

Aided by Lisa's brother David, who gives them the needed directorial eye, they create new spoofs every year. Their costuming is perfection supported by incredible wigs that help them completely change what they look like. (Credits for costumes go to Kelly McDonald and wigs to Akemi Hart.) Act 1 starts with the Polka Dots performing for a mortician's convention. The Polka Dots are headed by Dorothy (so you know where 'Dot' came from, and she just loves polka) and accompanied by Ludmilla. Ludmilla's wig helped Koch looked so Russian-esque, so dour, it was side-splitting.

Accompanied by castmates D.J. Gommels and Michael Oaks, and including projections of slides of graves, caskets, and urns, the Polka Dots sing a medley of tunes devised just for the funeral industry. Apparently, services for Dot's father were paid for in trade, you see.

The next portion of Act 1 is a game of 'Who's Your Deity,' with illustrious guests Harvey Fierstein, Kirstie Alley, and Albus Dumbledore. Whether that trio is particularly educated on religion is anyone's guess, but this is the audience participation part of the evening, where you could be chosen to decide if the answers given by the celebrity panel are true or false. While some portions of this skit aren't quite as delectably funny as other parts of the show, you might even learn a thing or two. Some of the questions are weird-but-true aspects of various religions. If you're chosen, you might even win a prize!

Costume-change time between skits is also a huge treat, as clips from Lisa Koch's huge arsenal of weird videos are shown. See if you can recognize old celebrities making fun of themselves in Christmas specials past. Also seen on video are clips from Second City actors pretending to be celebrities in awful Christmas specials past.

Without giving away more jokes, we'll just say you'll hear more about the new Gay ensemble SQUEEL and be invited into the Bachmann home for a Christmas-y political visit, and last but not least, get a load of Mama Euomi's original production of Double-wide Indemnity. If you've seen ACT Theatre's recent production of Double Indemnity, it might help with the beginning of the plot, but after that, all bets are off. Especially as Wynotta intervenes and describes to Euomi what plot changes Euomi murmured in her sleep.

For more information, go to www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com.

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This year's Ham is to die for!
------------------------------
Cool Yule kicks off holiday season with serious music, outrageous skits
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Dina Martina is back to make the holidays surreal
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Deborah Cox to headline Seattle Red Dress Party
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Man in the Newspaper Hat falls well short of potential
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Beasley's Christmas Party a sure-fire family favorite
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A holiday hangover with a Ho
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Grammy nominations: West leads, Seattle acts nab three
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Hillary Clinton's most impressive speech on human/lgbt rights in Geneva...most incredible

http://www.humanrights.gov/2011/12/06/human-rights-geneva/

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A Dyke About Town: Ain't Misbehavin' a lot of fun
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Scorsese's Hugo pure cinematic magic
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Muppets still make a rainbow connection
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Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
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Tori Amos interview coming December 9
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Northwest News
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Letters
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West Side Story a great restoration of a great musical
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