Rockwell Table And Stage will have audiences rocking around the Christmas tree John Hughes-style all December long with The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Home Alone, the most rollicking, raunchy, radio-hit-packed holiday entertainment in town.

10306723_444047229137508_6649186613148251571_n All your Home Alone favorites are back, beginning with harried homemaker Kate McCallister (Marla Mindelle), heading off with twenty or so family members for a Christmas in Paris, and if that many McCallisters with first-class tickets sounds excessive, well as Kate puts it, “We’re incredibly wealthy and white.”

There’s also ethnically/sexually ambiguous McCallister patriarch Peter (Alex Mohajer). (“My Dad keeps going into bathroom with different guys,” remarks Kevin’s older bro at the Paris airport.)

Other assorted McCallisters include Uncle Frank (Spencer Strong Smith), bullying big brother Buzz (Peter Allen Vogt), and a whole bunch more (played by Misha Reeves and Zach Zagoria).

In addition, there’s scary geezer-next-door Old Man Marley (Mohajer), Midwest Polka King Gus Polinski (Vogt), creator of such hits as “Polka, Polka, Polka” and “Polka Me, Polka You,” and off-the-clock shopping mall Santa (Vogt), and it wouldn’t be Home Alone without burglars Harry (Joey Bybee) and Marv (Smith), mind-bogglingly bumbling as ever but like everyone else in the cast, as power-piped as any Broadway belter.

1919348_446056588936572_6736036185325128964_n Above all there is eight-year-old Kevin (Caitlin Gallogly), whose plans to outwit a pair of thieving rascals would do a rocket scientist proud  (and whose short blond shag has the boy “looking surprisingly like Ellen DeGeneres.”)

How scripters Ray Wetmore and Kate Pazakis have managed to recreate one iconic Home Alone moment after another in just about seventy-five minutes (plus intermission) while finding room for a dozen-and-a-half holiday and Top 40 hits is its own kind of Christmas miracle, along with enough tweaking, ad-libbing, and audience participation to make this Unauthorized Adaptation a bona fide crowd-pleaser.

Take for instance Kate’s realization mid Chicago-to-Paris flight that she’s left something (or rather someone) of supreme importance behind. (“You know what? Actually, this is the best part of the movie. I want you guys to scream ‘Kevin’ again at the count of three.”)

Or Harry’s fake tooth, a tennis-ball-sized hand-held prop this time round. (“Wow! A false gigantic gold tooth. That seems incredibly dramatically significant, obviously something I’m going to want to pay attention to.”)

Or the life-sized shadow play Kevin invents to trick Harry and Marv into believing there’s “a full-blown party with poppers” going on inside the McAlister home.

John Flynn directs with masterful inventiveness and abundant pizzazz, and never more so than in a grand finale that finds one ingenious way after another to replicate the movie’s most inspired albeit improbable pranks, from flaming doorknob to nail in foot to the red-hot iron that Marv takes to the head.

993870_446025075606390_2026076617487143643_n Oh, and if you’re in the mood for drinking games, try downing a shot whenever someone shouts out “Home Alone” and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a designated driver home.

Musical director extraordinaire Gregory Nabours and fellow band members Blake Estrada, Emily Rosenfield, and Greg Sadler back up holiday classics like “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree,” “This Christmas,” “Run Run Rudolph,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” and the movie’s John Williams original “Somewhere In My Memory,” as well as non-seasonal smashes “Miss Independent,” “When You Believe,” “Eye Of The Tiger,” and “Roar,” plus a double shout-out to Christina Aguilera with “Christmas Time” and “Fighter.”

12391034_443375272538037_2924347377396552454_n Gallogly’s splendidly spunky Kevin may be more than a bit androgynous, prompting Kate to vow, “I am getting home to my transgender son,” but boy can this girl/boy sing. (His/her rendition of “Let It Go” has Gallogly proclaiming with considerable justification, “So that’s what happens when you accurately hit that note.”)

Broadway’s power-piped Mindelle is fierce, fabulous, and funny as all get-out as Kate, and quite the ad-libber. (“I think we’re back at the airport after a sound malfunction so let’s just go with it, okay? Live theater, folks.”)

12376426_442167969325434_582761921539949073_n Bybee and Smith’s Harry and Marv are non-stop double delights, Vogt steals scenes right, left, and center in a trio of roles, Mohajer shows off comedic chops as Peter and grandfatherly warmth as Old Man Marley, and Reeves and Zagoria prove Home Alone’s secret weapons in more roles than I could possibly count.

Design points are scored by costumer Chadd McMillan for his ‘80s outfits and Reeves and Vicki Ayers for their imaginative props, and by sound designer/technical director David Evans and board-operating lighting designers Eric Larson and Derek Jones.

Trevin Goin, Damon Gravina, Gwen Hollander, Emma Hunton, and Megan Reinking are alternate cast members and swings. Pazakis is executive producer. Kalen Edean is production stage manager and Stephanie Lazard is production coordinator.

Whether you’re someone for whom December wouldn’t be December without an annual viewing of Home Alone or simply find yourself in the mood for an out-of-the ordinary night on the town, The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Home Alone adds up to holiday hilarity at its rocking Rockwell best.

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Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont, Los Angeles.

–Steven Stanley
December 2, 2106

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