A Very Tamarie Christmas Presents Tamarie Cooper at her Very Best, Within Limits
Photo by Anthony Rathbun Tamarie Cooper and Greg Dean evaluate the holidays
Not since our own Bayou City bodacious Botticelli beauty, Tamarie Cooper, sat and spun on her Sit-n-Spin in the fifth installment, I believe, of her original musical comedy summer extravaganzas once called Tamalalia, has there been such a consistently hilarious show as her latest psychedelic voyage into the absurd, A Very Tamarie Christmas.
What used to be Cooper looking back at her life with gimlet eyes, and therefore making us see ourselves with equal magnanimity and sheepish squirm, has morphed over the years into a cult theatrical Ziegfeld Follies of her twisted psyche. What a mind!
In no particular order there have been dancing cupcakes and cockroaches to signal the end of days in Doomsday Revue; a singing Incontinence in Old as Hell; snooty France, belligerent Germany, and wily China berating sad America in United States of Tamarie; or a rogue's gallery of drugs Adrenalin and Dopamine in Journey to the Center of My Brain (In 3-D).
All of her musical revues have an original score and book; spirited choreography by Cooper which always includes a tap routine; outlandish costumes (that in the past have depicted bacon, Satan whose Hell depends on unflattering lighting, and more than a few moronic Hitlers); and co-star the loonies from Catastrophic Theatre, who are let loose to wreck havoc and elicit genuine guffaws from the audience. There are no subtle performances in a Tamarie Cooper show. There's nothing subtle at all in a Tamarie show. That's what makes these annual productions so eagerly awaited and lapped up.
Christmas is all this, times 10. It has the whacked-out charm, frizzed ends, and theatrical pizzazz of the series, but this time the production has a genuinely cohesive book and genial guiding spirit, however skewed, from Patrick Reynolds, that holds the whole thing together. Some of the previous shows wildly veered off into the stratosphere before they could be sufficiently corralled.
Christmas is like an R-rated Holiday Inn on steroids. (Remember that old Paramount chestnut with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire as showbiz rivals, a hotel that was only open on holidays, and the parade of hits by Irving Berlin? "White Christmas" came from that movie.)
Tamarie loves Christmas, but when boozy Christmas spirit (Greg Dean, channeling Dean Martin with scotch in hand and wearing the best Santa suit ever - an actual red suit with snowmen on it) scrambles out of the chimney to chastise Tamarie about the way his holiday is currently celebrated, she must find a day less polarized.
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