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The Unauthorized Musical Parody of 'Home Alone'

by Harker Jones
Tuesday Dec 5, 2017
The Unauthorized Musical Parody of 'Home Alone'

John Hughes' "Home Alone" was a box-office smash in 1990. Directed by Chris Columbus, it become a pop culture touchstone, defined a generation, spawned four sequels (of diminishing returns), and turned Macaulay Culkin into the biggest child star of the decade on its way to becoming the third-highest-grossing film of all time. All of which means it is ripe for spoofing, and the "Unauthorized Musical Parody Of 'Home Alone" troupe nails it like they usually do, sending up the beloved film with affection while also skewering it with acidic wit.

The premise: Little Kevin McCallister (Natalie Lander) is surrounded by so many siblings that when the family heads to Paris for Christmas, no one notices that he's not in tow. Luckily for them, that means Kevin can protect the house from bumbling burglars Marv (Sarah Wolter) and Harry (Bohely Quiroz).

Director and musical stager Marty Thomas gets electric performances from every member of his cast. The energy is through the roof and the jokes by co-writers Ray Wetmore and Kate Pazakis come fast and furious. Bassist Blake Estrada, guitarist Emily Rosenfield, pianist Gregory Nabours and drummer Greg Sadler tightly tackle all different forms of music, from ballads (Adele's "Hello") to carols (the Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling") to new wave (A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran [So Far Away]") to pop (Christina Aguilera's "Fighter").

And while the film was not a musical, so there are no songs to lend to the production, musical director Nabours appropriates popular songs to fantastic effect for a jukebox musical. For example, when Kevin realizes he's been left home alone, he celebrates his freedom by melding Tiffany's (or Tommy James and the Shondells') teen anthem "I Think We're Alone Now" with Heart's power ballad "Alone." "Run Run Rudolph" gets the family to the airport, and Kevin's mother, Kate (Gina D'Acciaro, channeling actress Kathryn Hahn seamlessly), gets Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" as she tries to make her way back to her son.

Recently seen in "The Unauthorized Musical Parody of 'Hocus Pocus'," D'Acciaro is joyful, a true MVP, stealing every scene she's in. Lander, recently seen in the lead role in "The Unauthorized Musical Parody of 'Bridesmaids'," is hysterical as the resourceful Kevin, pulling off Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent" (as "Mr. Independent," of course) and pratfalls and mugging with equal aplomb. Reversing genders has always been part of the Unauthorized troupe's playbook, and swapping sexes for the two criminals pumps the characters with extra fizz.

References to archaic '90s items like Casios and VCRs are amusing, as is some of the '90s wardrobe. (It is not a decade known for its fashion sense.) Much of the humor is also poked at the big, rich, white family at the center of the chaos. A house the size of the McCallisters' filled with that many children and European vacations at Christmas (peak travel time!) make you wonder just what Mr. McCallister does for a living!

This take on "Home Alone" is a great way to celebrate the holidays. There's some salty language and innuendo but it's mostly good campy fun for the entire family. Keep in mind that because this is high-end dinner theater, there is a two-item purchase minimum. It's worth it!

"The Unauthorized Musical Parody of 'Home Alone' runs through December 30 at Rockwell Table and Stage, 1714 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. For tickets or information, go to Rockwell-LA.com


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