Vivian & Bill’s Christmas Party!
Vivian & Bill’s Christmas Party! featured live singers performing classic holiday songs as characters at a holiday cocktail soiree, using improvised dialogue in an immersive theater experience.
It’s December of 1960 and John Kennedy has just been elected president, Gunsmoke and The Ed Sullivan Show were the most popular shows on TV, Elvis Presley asked, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and Ray Charles had “Georgia on My Mind,” and a comedian known as Mrs. Maisel was making people laugh.
Over on Morningside Lane, Vivian and Bill Collins are throwing their annual Christmas party, a tradition that brings together friends, family, and neighbors for festive fun, frivolity, cocktails, and maybe a holiday tune or two.
Vivian (Treyla Trash) is the “hostess with the mostest,” always presenting a perfect home and a perfect family with her husband Bill (Travis Coles) and 9-year-old daughter Patty (Carman iCandy). That little “indiscretion” Bill may have had at last year’s party and the “spirited” behavior Patty displays are not things Vivian has time to fret over… there is crab dip to be served!
Their friends Tom and Donna Weaver (Chris Stanley and Hannah Dodson) are at the party, all smiles and assurances that the tension everyone senses between them is nothing to be concerned about.
Bill’s boss Gary Douglas (Justin P. Kent) and his wife Janet (Gwen Leahy) have been invited, naturally, and the fact that Bill is up for a promotion is probably why Vivian overlooks the fact that the couple might be having a bit too much of the holiday punch!
Vivian’s brother Charles Keller (Richie Cook) shows up, the colorful, “confirmed bachelor” and life of the party who Vivian thinks will settle down as soon as he meets the right girl.
To that end, Vivian has invited Beverly Barrett (Sallie Just Sallie), a sweet young woman that she met at the beauty parlor, in the hopes that Charles will spark to her.
And don’t forget about their neighbor Linda (Valerie America Lavelle), who got divorced and has had a series of female “roommates” ever since we are really good at things like golf and softball.
Throughout the evening there were unexpected revelations, romantic entanglements, secrets, lies, and a lot of pretending everything is fine, just fine as Vivian, Bill, and their friends and family sang beloved holiday tunes including “Sleigh Ride,” “Let It Snow,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “What Christmas Means to Me,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Last Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and more!
The fact that a bunch of these songs hadn’t been written by December of 1960, is something Vivian is choosing to ignore also.
Here are some photos from the show!