The First Jo-el

The Troubadour Theater Company, led by writer-director-star Matt Walker, is back at the Falcon Theatre for its annual Christmas show. This time, it's the nativity story set to 18 of Billy Joel's songs. The concocted yet sophisticated story permits them to break into song whenever possible, replacing Joel's original lyrics with their own twisted ones. Hence lyrics such as "We're having a child/But she's always a virgin to me." Bethlehem innkeepers Nicholas and Greta (Jack McGee and Lisa Valenzuela) have a daughter, Letty (Katie Nunez), who's pregnant and still undecided on marriage to gormless Manolo (Matt Morgan). Enter the three wise men, who've become two hard-boiled wise guys, Gold (Matt Walker) and Myr (Brandon Breault), plus Frankenstein (Morgan Rusler, who also doubles as Herod), incorporating a bit of Three Stooges–style slapstick into their appearance. But when another pregnant couple from out of town shows up, it turns out there's no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph (Katherine Malack and Matt Walker). Everyone is in good voice, especially Nunez and Valenzuela. The live five-piece band keeps the hit tunes pumping out under the musical direction of drummer Eric Heinly. Especially noteworthy are Hayan Charlston's sizzling sax and clarinet performances. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank; Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 4 & 8 p.m., Sun., 4 & 7 p.m., through Jan. 16.
Wednesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 & 7 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; Wednesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 & 7 p.m. Starts: Dec. 10. Continues through Jan. 16, 2010


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