“Ham for the Holidays” an ACTLab Production

Some people look forward to plum pudding at Christmas time. I look forward to “Ham for the Holidays” that zany, hysterically funny yearly production by Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt. These two women know no bounds in humor, and over the years have developed an ardent fan base, the members of which can’t wait to see what madcap concoctions they have dreamed up for each new show.

This year, they’ve paid special attention to the videos that stream across the top of the stage. Many of these are quite bizarre. Some feature old film clips, another offers unexpected juxtapositions of yachts, bathing suits, etc. They all extend the humor, the whacky, screwball humor that their fans adore.

Koch and Platt are not always alone on the stage. This year their troupe includes Bruce Hall, Michael Oaks, Joel Domenico, and Abbey Drake who play numerous roles, both droll and nutty. They are all masters of deadpan in the midst of outrageous sketches like the one about the Sequim Gay Men’s Chorus.

Then there’s always an audience participation part where two members of the audience are “coerced” to come onto the stage and compete in a zany quiz. This year’s quiz is: “Are You Smarter Than a Queen.” You’ve probably guessed by now that there’s a full measure of camp in these shows. And there’s pleasant music too. Lisa’s a fine singer and guitarist, and offers moments of quiet music between the more madcap moments. These moments are in sharp contrast to the mayhem induced when Peggy Platt (in character) owns the stage

Hovering in the background of all of this fun is David Koch, the nationally known director/entrepreneur and choreographer. Aren’t we lucky to have such amazing talent in Seattle?

Sometimes we simply take it for granted. It is really one of our city’s great treasures.

Through Dec. 24, at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle, (206-292-7676 or acttheatre.org).

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