Grindstone Theatre’s very own artistic director, Byron Martin, kicked of the show with his jazzy rendition of “Let it Snow”. David Johnston, a performer in “The 11 O’Clock Number”, wrote a comically tragic song about failed New Year’s resolutions called “Resolved”. This song was performed by Brianne Jang while she drank from a flask. She sang beautifully and her wacky expressions kept the audience laughing. I rarely cry for songs, but Andrea Rankin’s performance of “River” by Joni MItchell actually brought a few tears to my eye. A trio of the bombshells (Maddy Knight, Bonnie Ings, and Erica Ullyot) closed the first act with a beautiful and soulful take on “Winter Wonderland.”
Besides being the most adorable couple in the world, Mark Vetsch and Katie Hudson also harmonize beautifully together. Mark played his ukulele to their three songs, while Katie helped encourage some audience interaction by holding up a lyric sign for us to sing along too. Their songs were fun, upbeat, and very easy to join in with. I was especially pleased to hear them perform one of my all time favorite songs, “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men. These two brightened up the show and brought everyone that classic Christmas cheer.
Lisa Gilroy was a cheery ball of comic relief packed in a pink polka dot onesie. She played the hosts’, Byron and Brianne’s, little sister who could interrupt them and annoy them too no end. The little sister who wants to be part of the fun was a cute, classic gag that I thoroughly enjoyed. She busted out a little intro, audition song that was a rendition of “Feliz Navidad” that went, “I wanna wish you a Happy Lisa, I wanna wish you a Happy Lisa…” Lisa’s last song was also well praised as she sang “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”
Bryon Martin took the stage again to close the show with “A Marshmallow World.” He was accompanied by five stunning marshmallow back up dancers/singers. It was a cute and creative way to close the show. All the performers did a fantastic job and brought some Christmas magic to the Varscona stage.