Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Seattle

Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork
ACT Theatre
Review by David Edward Hughes

Lisa Koch and Joel Domenico
Photo by Chris Bennion
Resident Seattle laugh-masters Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch do not disappoint in Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork , a co-production of ACTLab and TongueinChic Productions at ACT Theatre. This LGBT-centric but tailored for the whole family holiday hootenanny allows for return visits with some of Platt and Koch's enduring characters developed by the pair in countless cabaret show pairings over the last two decades. This feels like their freshest and jolliest effort in years, and since moving to the larger space afforded to them at ACT Theatre several years back, their audience has grown beyond their grass root appeal to gays, lesbians, transgendered, cis-genders, waring blenders and ... well you get the point. Now everyone has a gay old time with the duo best known as Das Fallopia!

Act one includes a faux duo "Heatwood Mac" played and sung to perfection by Peggy and Lisa with (as in all their song parodies) re-imagined lyrics by Lisa. The weakest moments in the show come with a sketch called "Dweeb Girls at Camps" where two loser girls plot revenge on their summer camp tormentors. The portrayals are fine but most of the dialogue is mildly amusing at best. But the show bounces back with a TV game show send up, "Are You Smarter Than a Queen?," in which a pair plucked from the audience team up with the reigning Queen Elizabeth Koch) and comic gag-writer Bruce Vilanch.

Act one ends with a visit from the fictional "Sequim Men's Chorus" with strong supporting efforts from vocalist/pianist Bruce Hall, cut-up comedian Michael Oaks, and saucy, sexy and silly Joel Domenico, who makes a fetching sight whether in or out of drag.

Platt also kills at the top of act two with a reprise of her deadly deadpan and delightfully daffy "Slam Poet" drawing big belly laughs from solemn situations. Koch brings in some heart with an emotional and reflective medley of songs that are clearly designed to renew our spirits following 2016's horror show. And saving the belly-bustin' laughs for last are Koch as country music almost, lesbian singer Wynotta and Platt as herever-meddling, show struck Mama, Euomi. This year, Mama's ode to cinema is supposed to be Star Wars which she has jumbled up in her mind with Star Trek as she plays Captain Princess Lea Kirk, warding off Koch's half-corn/half human Cob-Niblet Kling. The star duo also fight off being upstaged by Domenico's afro outta control Uhura, and the same sex-attraction campily enacted by Hall and Oaks. T-Rex is present in a campy video vignette, several of which provide amusing breaks for scenery and costume changes. Stagehand Abbey Drake is also utilized winningly here as Wynotta's wife who stoically suffers Mama's slings and arrows.

Directed by cabaret director par excellence David Koch, who also co-wrote sketches for the show and provided additional material along with the rest of the supporting cast. Many Seattle traditions of the holidays, let alone the rest of the year, are gone, but this Cure 81 of comedy is a welcome reminder of happier years in our city and country.

Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork runs through December 24th, 2016, at ACT Theatre, 7th and Union in downtown, Seattle. For tickets or information contact the ACT box office at 206-292-7676 or visit them online at