bthlmRuby Slippers Theatre
Hotel Bethlehem by Drew McCreadie

Date and Venue 10 – 22 December 2013, 8pm (Sat 5pm & 9pm, Wed 1pm, Sun 3pm) | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova St.

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Ruby Slippers multi-award winning director, Diane Brown, and Comedy Award winning writer, Drew McCreadie combine their talents to come up with this zany production which premiered at the Shadbolt Centre in 2011, and reprised at the Firehall last year.

The actors are the same from last year except for Mary, the servant girl played by Gili Roskies. John Murphy (Joshua) is almost a clone of John Cleese in Faulty Towers. In fact, it looked like Faulty Towers set in Bethlehem. McCreadie's humour parallels that of Monty Python, and the opening night audience laughed all throughout this satire on the goings on at the inn at the time of the birth of Jesus.

Kudos to Stephen Beaver (King Caspar), Scott Bellis (Sam, Fishmonger), Tim W. Carlson (King Balthazar), Alex Diakun (Ezekiel), Dustin Freeland (King Melchior) Sean McQuillan (Hepion), John Murphy (Joshua), Byron Noble (Lewdius), Kris Novak (Joseph, Old Slave), Gili Roskies (Mary), and Alvin Sanders (Addius Myopicus)--all fine comic actors..

The comedy mixes contemporary issues with the traditional tale: the two shepherds contemplating on winning sheep in a lottery; the Three Kings evading taxation; virgins who aren't virgins; Roman guards who want to be transferred out of this hick town; a blind census taker from Rome who falls for the servant girl--all funny and absurd in this fast-paced comedy.

At the rate this comedy hit is going, it might come back again next year for the fourth time around. Happy holidays!

© 2013 Ed Farolan