Evidently, administrative changes at CoHo Productions ended up stranding the current production of JINGLE SPREE with inadequate publicity. That's a shame, because the show is worthwhile seeing. It's about the inevitable consequences of bad communication between adults on their children, a familiar theme, but explored with peculiar honesty and tension. I found not one character likeable--not one--but that somehow made watching the train wreck more engrossing, at least for me. Key performances grounded the characters, so that I often couldn't take my eyes off of them, as I wanted to slap 'em upside the head. Eric Reid and Deanna Wells were especially compelling. With an audience of only 15 people--who were very quiet--Reid and Wells dove into a fully-committed, emotionally wrenching duet of longing and recrimination (I actually teared up. I don't do that often.) Adrienne Flagg and Barb Klansnic also gave truthful, polished, emotionally-committed performances. Bill Barry was not as consistently successful for me, I think due to a certain physical 'slackness'--or lack of edge--in his on-stage movement and lack of 'intention' in his vocal performance; he doesn't drive through his lines consistently enough. Harold Phillips had similar difficulties when playing his age-nine character, but held me firmly with his adult pothead.
In all, JINGLE SPREE satisfied me greatly, especially in Reid and Wells, both of whom are actors whose names on a marquee will get me into a show, from now on.