For most of its 33 years, Airport Playhouse has staged a holiday variety show. Think Andy Williams, dorky sweaters, corny jokes and sing-along carols.
This year, in its final production (Airport folds Dec. 31), the Bohemia theater offers a gentle twist on the old format. Terry Brennan, Airport co-producer with husband Ed, and musical director Paula Willis have assembled a "Holly Jolly Jubilee" of familiar songs with bent lyrics. You've heard them before, but probably not all in one place: "Wreck the Malls," "The 12 Pains of Christmas," "The Most Fattening Time of the Year."
Director Terry Brennan, who's rarely seen onstage except to introduce the show, leads the ensemble on one number. (She should sing more often.) There are no stars, and some of the dancing is unintentionally comic. But missteps aside, the ensemble numbers will make you smile. Among the funniest: "The Silent Monks" keep their vows not to speak (or sing) while fulfilling their mandate to make a joyful noise. We won't spoil the joke by revealing how they resolve their "Hallelujah Chorus" dilemma.
For the "true meaning of Christmas," you can't top Charlie Brown - the "Peanuts" TV special returns Thursday night. Airport offers a "true meaning" send-up with adults in all the roles - even Snoopy's.
Good luck to the Brennans in their new partnership with CM Performing Arts Center. Maybe "Jubilee" will resurface in a new home.
WHAT: "Holly Jolly Jubilee"
WHEN | WHERE: Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sunday at 2:30 p.m., at Airport Playhouse, 218 Knickerbocker Ave., Bohemia. Airport alumni performers and ticket-holders are invited to a wine-and-cheese "Hall of Fame" reception Saturday night.