Steve and Eydie fans, particularly those of the gay male persuasion, can bless the day that Tod Macofsky and Christopher Graham gave birth to Mack Diamond and Poppy Fields, aka “America’s Best Least-Known Lounge Act,” whose holiday extravaganza Let It Snow! arrived just in time to entertain a couple of delighted audiences at Silver Lake’s Cavern Club Celebrity Theatre.
Though Mack & Poppy’s Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa show’s two-night run downstairs in the Casita Del Campo Mexican Restaurant basement is but the stuff of memories, at least until next year, I’ll keep my review in present tense because, when you come right down to it, what could be more eternal than a love-match made in interfaith heaven between “the third most famous export from Hoboken, New Jersey (after Frank Sinatra and raw sewage)” and the “Singer. Showgirl. Southern Belle” who is Possum Trot, Alabama’s favorite daughter?
Sequin-tuxedoed Mack and glamour-gowned Poppy’s “Cool Yule” is but the start of an evening of seasonal songs (and just the teensiest bit of coke snorting to accompany their mashup of “Let It Snow/Baby It’s Cold Outside”) and get those holiday juices percolating.
Homage is paid to Mack’s chosen people in Mack & Poppy’s “Barbra Streisand Chanukah Medley” and its cleverly tweaked renditions of “You Don’t Bring Me Latkas” and more, and if there were ever any question that Let It Snow! is for open-minded adults only, their “Just Fist Me For Christmas” leaves no doubt that the kiddies should be left at home for this holiday show.
Among the evening’s other memorable highlights are Mack & Poppy’s dashiki-clad celebration of “White Kwanzaa,” Mack’s “The Christmas Song,” Poppy’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and keyboard accompanist Jack Cheddar’s own solo turn with a medley of seasonal favorites he calls “Jack Cheddar’s Holiday Fantasia.”
Mack & Poppy are the brain/love children of longtime collaborators Macofsky and Graham, whose utter sincerity in bringing the seemingly mismatched yet clearly made-in-heaven couple to life is as much a reason for the duo’s success as their blend of stage presence, vocal chops, and off-off-off-color jokes.
The real-life Macofsky and Graham vanish under Mack & Poppy’s wigs, tuxedos, and glittery gowns, so much so in the latter’s case that it seems a misnomer to use the word “drag” to describe Graham’s transformation into the utterly feminine Poppy, though jewfroed Mack could probably fool even Macofsky’s closest family and friends.
Musical director/arranger John Randall adds to the evening’s delights with his nimble ivory-tickling as “Jack,” while scantily-clad Israel Zamora’s “Fernando” is around as eye candy for a Silver Lake audience with a taste for beards, muscles, and tattoos.
Though this year’s Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa show has (like Poppy’s long-ago Miss Cotton Gin 1987 and Miss Boll Weevil 1990 titles) become but a thing of memory, audiences present for Let It Snow! can count themselves lucky that they were there for the Mack & Poppy holiday magic.
Cavern Club Celebrity Theatre, Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles.
November 29, 2105