St. Nickaklaus and the Hanukkah Christmas

by Juergen K. Tossmann

St. Nickaklaus and the Hanukkah ChristmaDec 1-17

Klaus Klurman, aging actor and Jewish Holocaust survivor tries to come to terms with his failing memory and his relationship with his adopted African-American son, estranged daughter, and smoked-up-son-in-law. While the family struggles with Klaus's beginning stages of dementia, the action takes a hilarious and bizarre twist as the power of the spirit touches this unusual holiday celebration.

 

 

 

 

December

1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 - 7:30pm

3, 10, 17 - 2:00pm

"Tossmann’s script is a poignant, insightful comedy that revels in theater riffs and wordplay, but never hides its eyes from the reality of the situation.......The production gets fine performances from Tyler Madden as Klaus’ gay, African-American adopted son, Rebecca Henderson as Klaus’ married daughter and Tossmann as Rebecca’s loony pot-smoking husband.......Klaus is a powerful, egotistical man battling his emerging age, his physical vulnerability and the looming dementia that coexists with his still formidable intellect. Orme brings him to life in a mercurial performance constructed of meticulously crafted physical and vocal detail — a palsied hand, a mental short circuit that carries him abruptly to a long-ago rehearsal for Othello. It’s a delightful piece of acting — all the more because it doesn’t feel much like acting at all....Marty Rosen/ Leo Weekly

 

Tyler Madden’s Fritz was a great balance of loyal son and brother but also a frazzled caregiver. He treated all of the scenes as if he had been part of similar real-life scenarios. Juergen Tossmann’s Frank was a hoot. While donning a Santa hat that had a marijuana leaf on it, he brought whimsy into a serious family situation. While the character of Frank seemed to be over the top at times, it fit more than hindered the flow of the show......Louisville has been very fortunate to have Matt Orme display his craft for decades now, and he seems quite at home on the Bunbury Theatre stage. His depiction of Klaus was both heartbreaking and revelatory, making no apologies for what he was and what he is becoming. When he shouts, “An actor has to have passion”, his booming voice hovers over the audience like a whispering wind.

Bob Bush is one of the best scenic designers in Louisville theater, and he and his props person, Hannah Greene, knocked it out of the park with this modern living room design. With a lighted Christmas tree featuring a Star of David as a topper and a menorah on the mantelpiece, one had a feeling you could be in a swanky downtown apartment celebrating the occasion.

Annette Skaggs/ Arts-Louisville