Padgett’s “Who’s Holiday!” is a Jolly Good Time, Though Just for Adults and Entirely in Rhyme

Helena Cosentino in “Who’s Holiday!” (Photo by Jessica Kent-Deterding.)

’Tis the weeks before Christmas, the time of year when
All the theatres in town are at it again:
There’s Santa and Scrooge and the Sugar Plum Fairy!
Yes, all well and good, if your default is “merry.”
But say you are looking for something that’s…naughty,
A little more spice in your holiday toddy?
There is no need to fret; just follow instructions:
Go see “Who’s Holiday!” by Padgett Productions.

“What is that? Whose holiday?” might be your retorts.
It’s a twist on a classic, a sequel of sorts—
Perhaps you will remember old Cindy Lou Who.
Well, she wasn’t old then—she was merely just two
When she first met the Grinch, on that one Christmas Eve
That he almost stole… Golly, you wouldn’t believe!
She’s now pushing forty, and she’s been through some things.
She’ll tell you all about it. (And sometimes, she sings!)

You see, Cindy Lou Who is throwing a party
(Though you’re not invited, her real guests are tardy).
Over too many drinks, she reveals odds and ends,
Like how she and the Grinch became more than just friends,
And why she now lives here, alone, in this trailer,
Was cast out of Whoville and wound up in jail, or
The fact that—in what might be the most touching scene—
She’s estranged from her daughter (yes, her child’s half-green).

Helena Cosentino in “Who’s Holiday!” (Photo by Jessica Kent-Deterding.)

If you like Dr. Seuss, but think his rhymes too prude,
Cindy’s vocabulary should brighten your mood.
“I’m sorry—is that word offensive? It gets worse…”
Delightful vulgarities, delivered in verse!
Playwright Matthew Lombardo composed every line;
He took the Grinch’s shy girl and gave her a spine.
Don’t cry for Cindy—take that notion and dump it,
For she’s flying high as the queen of Mount Crumpet.

Helena Cosentino’s the star of this show;
Decked in spandex and hair-dye, her Cindy’s a-glow.
(And so is her trailer, just wonderfully garish—
Lights by Zan de Spelder; set by R.J. Parish.)
Bringing this creation to real life from the page,
Cosentino will also step right off the stage
To joke with the crowd, or even pour you a drink,
And then ply you with insults, a smile, and a wink.

So once the children are nestled snug in each bed,
Come down to Crown Center for mature fun instead.
The pacing is brisk with Nick Padgett directing—
This play’s just an hour, and, sincerely, affecting.
Cindy Lou is a hoot, with her bold, cheeky rhymes,
Yet beyond all the farce, it’s quite poignant at times.
You’ll laugh at her foibles, but with one last surprise,
You might find your cold heart growing three times its size.

“Who’s Holiday,” a production of Padgett Productions, runs through December 23 at the Ruby Room at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Boulevard. For more information, visit whokansascity.com.

Victor Wishna

Victor Wishna is a Kansas City-based playwright, writer, author, editor, and commentator, among other things.

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