Local news celebrity Bob Shaw - aka the morning weather guy on KTVZ - stars in this one-man show that spurs nostalgia for Christmas past, and a hankering for whiskey-drenched fruitcake.
A Christmas Memory is based on a Truman Capote short story about a young boy's Christmas with his elderly cousin and unlikely best friend. Despite their poverty and misfortune, the two are flush with the spirit of the season and make the best of the little they have. Their adventures and oddball relationship are beautifully depicted by Capote's writing and are brought to life by Shaw's performance.
A mixture of eloquence and an excellent delivery constructs a theatrical macrocosm; a complete memory full of life and holiday joy, despite the fact that Shaw recites the short story without a supporting cast or excessive use of props. While we never see the charismatic "friend," the quirky dog, Queeny, or the terrifying whiskey brewer, Shaw's enthusiasm enables a collective imagination where the characters become tangible. We are all there, decorating the tree, feeding on the excitement of Christmas morning, and treasuring moments with our loved ones.
The minimalism of the performance generates holiday joy, reminding us that this season is a time to cherish those who are most important to us despite circumstance. With the economy in a slump and so much else threatening to plague the holiday season, take an hour to set aside your stress and remember the true meaning of Christmas with this literary classic. It's a sparkling play for a holiday in Central Oregon.
A Christmas Memory
Dec. 16-18, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. Innovation Theatre Works, 1155 SW Division St. innovationtw.org