Christmas might be over, but there’s no reason not to extend the joy into January. Fortunately, there is still plenty of holiday cheer to be had at the People’s Improv Theater (PIT) where an absolutely charming twist on the classic film, Home Alone is currently being staged through January 7th.
Kevin!!! is the latest offering by Recent Cutbacks, a comedy troupe whose previous works include a spoof of Jurassic Park (Hold On To Your Butts) and Fly, You Fools! a parody of Lord of the Rings.
Kevin!!!, a brisk, scaled down version of the John Hughes’ film, chronicles the Christmas adventures of Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old who is left to guard his house after his family rushes to the airport for their holiday vacation.
Director Kristin McCarthy Parker and her ensemble employ a number of clever techniques to convey the story including crafty camera work, miniature and life-size sock puppets and small house models which are quickly and carefully restructured for each scene.
Adult actor Nick Abeel gives hilarious voice to Kevin (which resembles the clay star, Mr. Bill). Sonia Mena and Natalie Rich are equally amusing as the bumbling burglars made famous on screen by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Kyle Schaefer is terrific as the “creepy old man” neighbor who ultimately forges a friendship with the young protagonist.
One of the most impressive aspects of Kevin!!! is the four person a capella “choir” comprised of Sarah Godwin, Evan Maltby, Richard Sears, and Michelle Vo. The quartet, directed by Sears, remains consistently on pitch throughout Kelsey Didion’s intricate musical arrangements, most of which are based on the John Williams’ score. Pulling notes out of thin air and keeping tight harmonies for more than a few measures is a feat that is a challenge for even the most professionally experienced vocalists and yet these talented singers deliver the goods.
Although the plot is not complex, Recent Cutbacks assumes that the audience has seen the film so a prior first viewing (Really?!!? You’ve NEVER seen Home Alone?) or a refresher screening will help enhance the experience.
Recent Cutbacks has garnered accolades from TimeOut NY and the New York Times for their shows and it is easy to understand why. This is loving parody at its finest, performed by a group of talented comedians who clearly have remarkable chemistry with the material and one another.
Kevin!!! runs through January 7th at The PIT’s Striker Stage, 123 E 24th St, New York, NY. For tickets and information, visit http://recentcutbacks.com/kevin.html