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Seattle by David-Edward Hughes

A Tasty Ham for the Holidays: Close Encounters
of The Pork Rind
at ACT Theatre


Peggy Platt, Lisa Koch, D.J. Gommels and
Michael Oaks

A holiday show tradition having a very bright and jolly edition this year is Ham for the Holidays: Close Encounters of The Pork Rind which is the LGBT community's alternative styled holiday show. Long a fixture at Theatre Off Jackson, this season it moved to ACT Theatre in the heart of downtown Seattle to no loss of audience but benefitting from drawing in ACT audience regulars who may not be interested in another heaping bowl of Dickens' Christmas Carol (which ACT handsomely stages every year). Comic duo Dos Fallopia Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt, rejoined by frequent collaborators D.J. Gommels and Michael Oaks, romp with verve and tongue squarely planted in cheek through a sketch and song-filled variety show format, directed and co-written by David Koch.

Fervent Ham followers will enjoy the familiarity of the Seattle Gay Men's Chorus spoofing choral comedy of the "Sequim Gay Men's Chorus", highlighted by a spoof of that already much parodied "What Does The Fox Say?" and an audience participation (with prizes) game show parody where all the passwords are naughty ones. Lisa Koch contributes a beautifully sung Christmas medley, Peggy Platt bombasts her inimitable way through a slam holiday poetry reading, and all four performers take part in a saucy jab at local big-name celebs like Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

The big comic payoff and most of act two is two vintage Koch/Platt characters Mama Euomi Spudd and Daughter Wynotta in Mama's self-penned playlet "Meet Me in Mayberry with a Vengeance." And if the sight of the zaftig Ms. Platt done up as Mama Spudd done up as Sheriff Judy (as in Garland as she appeared in "Meet Me in St Louis") isn't hilarious enough, D.J. Gommels virtually reincarnates Frances Bavier's Aunt Bea (whom Judy keeps mistaking for Aunt Em) and Floyd the Barber with uncanny skill and attention to detail, and Oaks manages a fine Barney Fife as well. Suffice to say several trolleys and terrorist explosions on the streets of Mayberry follow, and a convoluted happy ending is arrived at. Ham for the Holidays: Close Encounters of The Pork Rind zips right along and has its laugh meter set on high. It is the perfect show to end the 2013 theatre season with!

Ham for the Holidays: Close Encounters of The Pork Rind runs through December 22, 2013 at ACT's Falls Theatre. For tickets or information contact the ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle. For reservations and other information go to www.acttheatre.org.


Photo: Chris Bennion



- David Edward Hughes



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