The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!

That this campy romp falls apart in Act 2 and still gets a "Go" says plenty about Joe Marshall's knack for comedic dialogue and director Paul Storiale's casting. Rod (the terrific Adam Loyd) is the loud, proud, disaster-penning playwright (sample titles: Okahomo!, The Wizard of Odd) for a small, gay WeHo theater company. When the producers decide they can't survive another shitshow, they bring in another playwright, which blows up in their faces, before hiring a lesbian director to direct Rod's original script because Rod has been hospitalized after a light in the theated falls onto his head and -- well, listen, the plot is engaging for about the first half-hour before you realize maybe Marshall based the pot-addled tech-director character (a charming Josh Patton) on himself. Luckily, the actors almost all have terrific comedic timing, and the dialogue is pointed, fearless and funny -- Rod's script is described as "the birth of Christ that goes into some gay shit with Brokeback Mountain cowboys as shepherds" and Barbara Ann Howard's hilarious narcoleptic/racist mother refers to her cabbie as having "rolled right out of bed -- he had a pillowcase wrapped around his head." Sure, the plot is dangling as tenuously as the light that crashes onto Rod, but we haven't laughed out loud so often in a theater all year. Avery Schreiber Theatre, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through Dec. 30. (818) 766-9100, averyschreibertheatre.com.
Sun., Dec. 2, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 8 p.m., 2012

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Avery Schreiber Theater

11050 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

818-766-9100