Theatre review: Hotel Bethlehem is just what the doctor ordered

Tired of the usual holiday treacle found on stages this time of year? Ruby Slippers Theatre presents the cure, with the irreverent and hilarious Hotel Bethlehem.

Stephen Beaver, John Murphy and Dustin Freeland in the Ruby Slippers Theatre production of Hotel Bethlehem.

Stephen Beaver, John Murphy and Dustin Freeland in the Ruby Slippers Theatre production of Hotel Bethlehem.

A wacky view to what might have happened on that fateful December day, Hotel Bethlehem bills itself as a satire, but in doing so it does itself a huge disservice.  As much a farce with a Pythonesque sensibility, there is enough here for even the most jaded holiday Grinch to like.  And in the spirit of playwright Drew McCreadie’s wildly funny show, we present a review intended to be sung to the tune of “Away in a Manger”:

Out east at the Firehall, Ruby Slippers does play
A fun and silly show that is now on display
Three years in a row, they toil at its doors
The little Hotel Bethlehem is never a bore.

John Murphy is surprising, so full of such verve
The rest of this cast and playwright all have some nerve

A simple cure for the shows seen this time of year
I laughed until I was aching and almost a tear

The shepherds of Diakun and Bellis are joys
The three wise men are some of the funniest boys

The Romans of Noble and McQuillan are stars
And the single women Roskies helps raise this high bar

Hotel Bethlehem

By Drew McCreadie.  Based on an idea by Roland Brand and Drew McCreadie.  Directed by Diane Brown. A Firehall Arts Centre prsentation of a Ruby Slippers Theatre production.  On stage at the Firehall Arts Centre through December 22, 2013.  Visit http://firehallartscentre.ca for tickets and information.

Mark Robins on Google+

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