Missy Barrett's Adventures

The amazing adventures of a fictional child

Deck The Halls With Ollie’s Festive Follies

It was snowing outside when everybody left Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre last night but that wasn’t weird because it’s December and this is the Great Smoky Mountains!  What was weird, in a superly funny way, was that earlier on, it was (fake) snowing inside Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre for one of the skits that was part of “Ollie’s Follies.”  Who knew snow could be so hilarious, even if it’s fake snow?  I never knew.

The hardest part of reviewing this show is not giving away all the gags.  But right away off the top, I’m going to tell you it’s probably a good idea for you to bring some muscle liniment with you because your sides are going to be sore from laughing so hard even before the intermission, and that’s for real, not just one of those things a review person writes to be dramatic.  After I saw “Ollie’s Festive Follies” my sides were sore from laughing way hard and pretty much with no stopping except for some parts that weren’t laughing parts.

Pretty much the whole show was brand new skits with a couple exceptions and those exceptions happened because the repeated skits are skits that are loved so much like watching “A Miracle On 34th Street” or “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  It’s just not Christmas unless you get to see those skits.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t boatloads of new skits and song-and-dance numbers and singing because there is.

There’s this thing called pacing.  My big brother, Aaron (he’s in college) told me about it at supper before we went to see “Ollie’s Festive Follies.”  Basically pacing is how fast or slow a skit goes and how fast or slow a show goes when you put the skits together in a line-up.  This show has excellent pacing because some skits are wild and zany and crazy funny, and some skits are very heart touching and loving.  If I was a big New York City theater producer, I would want to have “Ollie’s Festive Follies” at my theater at Christmastime.  It’s a good thing I’m not a big New York City theater producer because part of the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre magic is that it’s in Gatlinburg, not New York City.  But the show is that good.

The only joke I did not get was the thespian joke but my mom said that was okay because someday I will but everybody else in the theater laughed a lot when Tim Coleman and Chris Macpherson said it so I know it was funny even if I didn’t get the joke.

Also, I loved the costumes.  Some were superly beautiful like the long, sparkly dresses.  You can see them in the first montage below.  It’s the very first picture beside the “Ollie’s Festive Follies” poster picture.  If they have a extra one, maybe my mom can buy it for me and make it into my prom dress for when I get to high school because that’s how pretty they are.

Even the ugly dresses aren’t that ugly, even if it’s not a woman wearing it.  There was this teacher and my brother, Josh, said it reminded him of the teacher he had in Grade 2 and I think maybe it was a man dressed in a ugly dress because for sure it was not Emma or Stephanie or Jennifer.  Anyway, the teacher had these huge, humongous earrings except I really liked them a whole lot, so I’m going to make two pairs of earrings like that and give one pair to my Grandma Two Rivers for Christmas and one pair to my Grandma Barrett for Christmas.  I think they will love them so much they probably are going to wear them to fancy events they get to go to like any New Year’s parties maybe they’re going to with my two grandpas.  Everybody for sure would tell them they noticed their beautiful homemade earrings, and then they could tell everybody their earrings got made by me after I saw them at a Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre show.

So ya, there’s even lots of Christmas gift giving ideas at this show so how cool is that?

I separated the pictures I took to make two montages and there’s a reason for this.  There was way too much fun going on at this show to only have one picture montage.

In the second half of the show, the cast does a excellent version of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens except they needed more actors so they picked two people from the audience to help out.  They were superly great at picking the right people because I think it was the best version of “A Christmas Carol” I ever saw — and I think I saw pretty much every single version including the one with Fonzie from the Happy Days television series and the version with a woman that didn’t make any sense to me when I watched it.  It was not too short and not too long a version, and it had everything in it and it was sad in some places and happy in other places.  Oh, and shiver, shivery in a few other places.

Now, this show is called “Ollie’s Festive Follies” and because it is, I want to point something out.  Words are magic but the most heart touching magic comes from Ollie who doesn’t say any words at all.  I don’t want to wreck the magic for you by explaining what I mean by that.  I just want you to go to the show and have Ollie’s magic touch your heart by itself.  When you go to the show, you’ll understand what I mean, and then you’ll get why I said that the most heart touching magic comes from Ollie who doesn’t say any words at all.

After writing a lot of reviews, I think I finally got the hang of things so I’m giving this show a 5 Christmas stocking rating.

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Winning With Laughter

There are lots of ways to win at life.  Sometimes it’s the unexpected things in life that make you win.  Things like knowing when to let other people bring the win right to you.  Probably you’re wondering what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about how every time I see a new Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre show, I go home feeling like a winner because of how entertaining their shows are.  Just like their website says, it’s hilarious entertainment in the Smokies.

This review is about “The Biggest Little Show On Earth” and just like the poster says, it’s LIVE-ON-STAGE.  I don’t know why they had to put that on the poster because it would be silly to have the show not on stage and even sillier if it wasn’t live and the audience had to imagine a show was going on.  But it probably makes sense to other people, so I’m just going to say it’s a very good thing “The Biggest Little Show On Earth” is LIVE-ON-STAGE and even better that it’s a Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre show.

This show has some new (to me anyway) people alongside Christopher L. Sullivan, Chris MacPherson, and Stephanie Butters, and they’re Emma Lesniewski and Tim Coleman.  My brother Aaron says that Tim is a repeat comic offender so I think that means he’s been a Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre cast member from before and now he’s back.  That’s great because he’s superly hilarious just like the rest of the cast!  Everyone is so fantastic, and all the skits are side-splitting fall-down funny.  Emma is a brand new cast member and she’s superly hilarious, too.

I don’t want to give too much away in this review but I can tell you this:  There’s the very popular sing-a-long everyone loves (and we would all be sad if it got cut from any of the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre shows), and there’s Ollie the Clown (it just wouldn’t be a Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre show if Ollie the Clown wasn’t part of the show).

One of the skits I really enjoyed a whole lot was the one-man show by Chris MacPherson.  It’s not the costume changes that makes the audience think he’s a bunch of different actors, it’s his acting and plus the faces he makes.  This is where he does a excellent job of being Dr. Frankenstein, Igor, a lady that works with him, and a surprise I can’t tell you because maybe that would wreck this bit for you.  Also, he plays himself, so that’s 5 different people all at the same time and you feel like it’s five different people, so just that part all by itself is a 5-star performance (one for each personality).  Yes, it really is that excellent of a piece.

There’s musical comedy from Christopher L. Sullivan and Stephanie Butters and Emma Lesniewski (that name is just crazy hard for me to remember how to spell right so everybody needs to learn how to say it right and spell it right so Emma doesn’t think people don’t like her because totally we love her).

There’s old-timey songs from Cole Porter (that’s what my one grandpa told me and he should know because he watched all the old-timey movies with song-and-dance men in them) and dancing that goes with those old-timey songs from Cole Porter.  I think I almost knew one of those songs they sang but I couldn’t remember all the words.  Maybe I was just remembering the old-timey fancy suits and top hats.

I laughed really hard when the school teacher character kept coming out on stage.  I was kind of scared but also kind of laughing too hard to not be scared.  I just hope that school teacher never substitute teaches at my school next year … or maybe ever.  But it would be okay if she substitute taught at my brother Josh’s high school because then it would be superly funny.

Also, there’s the “World Famous Classical Paper Dance” and if you never saw that before, I can tell you that even if you watch it with your hands in front of your face like my one grandma does, you’re still going to laugh really, really hard.

This show has a new announcing voice.  I’m used to hearing the lady with the beautiful accent announce skits and players, but this time it was this guy making the announcements.

I don’t know his name, but he sure looks like he belongs at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre because his smile says he likes to laugh a whole lot, and that’s what Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre shows are all about:  Making people laugh a whole lot.

I rate this show a 35-star review.  That’s a 5-star for everyone in the cast, and bonus stars.  This is how it works out.

* 5 stars for all 5 of the cast members (25 stars)
* 5 bonus stars for the Frankenstein bit by Chris MacPherson
* 1 bonus star for the man selling tickets at the window
* 1 bonus star for the man selling popcorn
* 1 bonus star for the best popcorn ever
* 1 bonus star for the sound guy
* 1 bonus star for the announcing guy

And here’s the collage of pictures I put together for this show so you can get a idea of how much fun and how hilarious “The Biggest Little Show On Earth” is.  Probably you need to go online right now and get your tickets for the next show, so check out the link just below the collage.

Because there’s two shows happening at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre and plus the Jessica Jane Magic, Comedy, and Variety Show, just CLICK HERE to see the schedule so you get to see the show you want to go see.

In a couple more weeks, I’m going to write another review, and that’s going to be for “Lady Fanny’s Nitwit Revue” also playing at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in Gatlinburg.

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