Creator: Eliot Glazer
Reviewer: Jamie Rosler
If there’s anything you can count on in a room full of millennials in Brooklyn, it’s a love of childhood nostalgia couched in cool detachment and irony. Eliot Glazer’s An Even More Special Haunting Renditions Holiday Show caters perfectly to that crowd, while slowly getting them to let down their guard and have an honestly fun good time.
Opening with an updated version of Adam Sandler’s The Chanukah Song, complete with celebrities relevant in 2016 and onscreen projections to match, before segueing into a dulcet and surprisingly moving version of Katy Perry’s California Girls, Glazer sets a charming tone early on, showcasing his classically trained voice and the stellar talents of the musicians onstage. With several guests throughout the performance, including Christmas-sweater-clad comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the show evokes classic television specials of the past. Part cabaret, part stand-up comedy, and part Mad Lib Karaoke, the couple-hundred spectators in The Bell House feel they are both audience members and guests in Glazer’s home. Everything feels rehearsed, but not excessively polished, leaving wiggle room for improvisation, natural banter, and the perception that the performers are just people, friends hanging out.
Throughout the show, images are projected onto an upstage screen. They are well-placed and well-chosen, but unfortunately with a raised stage and a pitted audience, there are constantly obstructed views, with microphones, music stands, and performers in direct conflict with audience sight-lines. Outside of that, and a bit with the sharply funny Phoebe Robinson that runs just a touch too long, An Even More Special Haunting Renditions Holiday Show is a treat and a joy. By the end of the night, even the coolly detached hip kids in Brooklyn were singing along and joining in, with smiles and laughter spreading across the room.
Reviewed on 22 December 2016