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A Very DIE HARD Christmas

comedy · theatre unleashed · Ages 13+ · flashing lights · United States of America

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Review by ALEXANDRA STJACQUES

June 03, 2018

What I liked

I loved the execution of effects. From the puppetry style of Al, to John’s crawl through an air duct, to falling through a window, the effects were immersive, impressive, and interesting – all components of stage effects that should be at play, even on a budget. The creativity was incredible.

The talent was my other favorite part. When I consider the actors and where I could see them cast onscreen, I don’t think I could picture them sharing a project. Each bring their own unique flair that feels so different, and at times when melded together, chaotic, but that chaos is somehow tamed and becomes a symbiotic relationship in the show. Watching the give and take was a joy, and the frenetic energy onstage was a distinct part of the show that made the corny backdrop work.

What I didn't like

On a personal note, Hermey has always bothered me. Doesn’t matter what he’s in. That’s not on you, that’s on me. But I don’t like Hermey. On a more related note, the stuffed toy (putting aside the fact that I’m biased against Hermey anyway) beating up a person just didn’t land with me. I think a full costume change would have been better, but that’s a matter of personal opinion, and considering the reaction of those around me during that specific scene, I don’t think that’s a part that should change or seek to be “improved.”

My overall impression

I’ve never seen the movie Die Hard before, but after seeing this show, I feel inspired to break it out this Christmas. However, I don’t think I’ll like the gritty original half as much as I enjoyed this fun-filled interpretation. Packed with talent who made the theater feel much larger than life, this show is perfect for anyone seeking a performance that you can kick back, relax, and enjoy. The intimate venue adds to the homey feeling and electric connection between performer and audience, and Kiré Horton’s vocal talent was exceptional and timeless. Her counterpart, Wade Wilson (the actor, not the anti-hero, although both incorporate some fourth-wall breakage), portrayed a John McClane that was believable and shockingly genuine given the self-aware, corny backdrop that gave the show its wink-wink style of charm. As for the rest of the cast, they delivered in hilarity and reminded my why some shows must be experienced live. Even in moments of cracked – not broken – character and pressed lips to avoid laughter, the joy of the actors and their love for the show were infectious. The talent and creativity in execution, moreso than the spoken words, were the backbone of this performance. An excellent show that deserves an excitable audience ready to laugh.

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