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Frosty The SnowManilo

 



It wouldn’t be Christmas without a production of a mangled holiday story set to music presented by The Troubadour Theatre Company in residence at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. The Troubadour Theatre Company is the baby of the brilliant Matt Walker, a trained actor, singer, dancer, clown, and acrobat. He guides his zany followers through another fracturing of a classic Christmas story (as seen on television) Frosty The Snowman. Appropriately Walker has chosen to use the music of Barry Manilow to tell this epic tale of a solitary snowman’s search for identity, home, and companionship. Much to his credit, Walker has only borrowed the songs (with new lyrics) and doesn’t trash the source much to the delight of the aging audience. He calls his version Frosty the SnowManilo.

Walker gives himself a nice roll of a trouble-causing magician trying to prevent the story. But Walker almost never hogs the spotlight for himself (there have been exceptions of course). Many of his regulars are there, the totally mad improviser Rick Batalla, the delightful comedienne and singer Lisa Valenzuela and the Voght Twins Paul and Peter.  Each of these identical brothers has their own career but what a pleasure to see them together.  Paul, who played Edna on Broadway in that smash hit Hairspray, gives us his Frosty. Peter Voght, who has made his name in television and improv, plays Crystal. Frosty’s “snow girl” friend. They are a riot together and their years of familiarity, only add to the comedy. Walker has added a section of acrobatics at the end to show the troupes gymnastic ability. One thing I noticed is that their individual talents only get stronger. They are better sings, actors, and dancers for it. The choreography by Nadine Ellis and Ameenah Kaplan is excellent. Frosty the SnowManilo plays at the Falcon Theatre through Jan. 17th.