SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS, Desert Star Dinner Theatre, Murray, through Dec. 30 (266-2600); running time: 105 minutes (one intermission)
MURRAY — Desert Star Theatre regulars will probably look at "Spirit of the Holidays" as a big, festively wrapped, super-size olio — an expanded version of the 20-minute vaudeville style revues staged across the lobby in the Cabaret Theatre.
For the holidays, director-writer Scott Holman, and collaborators Mary Parker Williams and Richy T. Steadman, have created an entertaining show filled with seasonal favorites, a few not-so-familiar tunes and some humorous comedy skits, all geared to get audiences revved up for Christmas.
The six main performers (seven, if you count "Rudy," the KXMS radio DJ who narrates the proceedings) keep things moving right along with a montage of ensemble numbers and solos, all accompanied by pianist Ben Mayfield, who also gets some well-deserved time in the spotlight.
Among the many highlights are Heather Elmer's sultry "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Scott Holman's rendition of "The Christmas Song," Marissa Young's "Jingle Bell Rock," Lisa Ann Grow's "Grown-Up Christmas List," Dominic Quin-Harkin's "Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me" and Dan Larrinaga's hilarious "Zat You Santa Claus?"
Holman is featured in some crazy comedy bits — one as a cost-cutting crafts lady with ideas for cheap gifts (homemade salted nutrolls made by pouring nuts into recycled toilet-paper cores; for those who want to mix Christmas and politics, socks turned into "Oven Mitt Romney" potholders), another as Dr. Phil grilling Kris Kringle (because he's known by so many different names around the world he must suffer from a multiple-personality disorder), and yet another where he delivers "The Night Before Christmas at the White House."
Holman, Larrinaga and Quin-Harkin also reprise their recent Desert Star Rat Pack characters — Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra singing Christmas tunes, with Young as a sexy Ann-Margret in a duet with Sinatra.
Pianist Mayfield plays a rousing rendition of "Sleigh Ride." Richy T. Steadman, officially listed as stage manager, is the opinionated DJ.
Among the best ensemble bits were a soul version of "Joy to the World," the three women singing "White Christmas" and the guys on a Beach Boys medley.
There was also a humorous parody of KOSY 106.5's all-Christmas jump on the season, with an "announcement" that next year they'll start playing Christmas carols on July 5.
On the downside, there was also a tasteless joke about Santa Claus throwing up in someone's house — which is particularly unpleasant in a dinner-theater setting.