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June 27, 2017:

A Harmony Boys Christmas reviewed by Rob Stevens

(photo by Casey Kringlen)

A Harmony Boys Christmas, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, had the appearance of being a spoof on the popular Forever Plaid franchise, which already was a spoof of the innocent male pop quartets of the 1950s and early 1960s. But alas, that was not what writer/performer Aaron Matijasic was aiming for. His aim was a lot lower, in the toilet actually. There is not a whit of subtlety in his show. Every crude bit of dialogue or choreographed bit of business is pounded into the stage floor with sledgehammer force. This total lack of finesse begins at the top of the show when the audience is called upon to stand not once, not twice, but thrice. No one has taken credit for the direction and the show looks like it just staggers from bit to bit, song to song. The Christmas concert is being held at a Jewish resort in the Poconos but most of the jokes are about Florida. We are told repeatedly that the time is 1962 yet most of the forced jokes are about current topics such as refugees, Trump, Pence etc. Joining Matijasic in the quartet are Al Rahn, Michael Hoy and Gabriel Oliva and their voices do blend together very well. There is a great onstage band led by musical director Ben Stanton. A full out Christmas concert would have been much more entertaining than all the suggestive gay and misogynistic humor that is on display.



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