“Christmas Over the Tavern” premiered last year by MusicalFare Theatre in Amherst. Following a sold-out run, the production is back for more Christmas cheer at Shea’s 710 Theatre.
Christmas isn’t always festive cheer and happiness, as the Pazinskis can tell you. “Christmas Over The Tavern,” tells the story of a family of six, living above a tavern in 1959 Buffalo, who are all trying to find their holiday spirit again. While a divorce may be looming for the parents, the four kids worry that this is their last Christmas together as a whole family. Filled with songs, dancing, Jesus, an angry nun, and a whole lot of comedy, the family realizes what it means to be a family during the stressful holiday season.
While the show does tickle the funny bones, it also hits home with the themes of divorce and depression. Even in 2019, both of these themes are still relevant in today’s society.
With such a small cast, the expectations are high for a show like this. The stars of the show are, without a doubt, the kids. Not only brothers on stage, but in real life too. The roles of Georgie, Rudy, and Eddie, are played by the three brothers Isaac Fesmire, Joel Fesmire and Samuel Fesmire. A talented family, to say the least.
All three excel in both comic timing, singing, and dancing, especially the comedy dynamite Joel as Rudy. Joel’s comic timing and cheekiness are marvelous to watch on stage. This kid is going to go far.
Director Randall Kramer has put together a fantastic show with smooth scene changes, a clear focus, and festive fun. Teamed with John Fredo’s classic musical choreography and Mark Vona’s musical direction, the production is entertaining from start to finish.
Also, the set design by Dyan Burlingame and resident lighting designer Chris Cavanagh enhance the show in their own ways. The show quickly changes location, from the tavern to the apartment above, and the transitions are flawless.
It’s easy to see why the show sold out last Christmas and is back this year.
It’s a musical comedy, packed with finely-tuned songs and dances, delivered with brilliant comic timing and old-school musical theatre pizazz.
It’s a joy to watch. Not only is it an ideal festive treat, it’s a taste of Buffalo’s comedy and wit.
“Christmas Over the Tavern” is at Shea’s 710 Theatre until Sunday, 22nd December.