Vancouver TheatreSports League Brings Back the Christmas Queen!

Sourced from VTSL website

Christmas is all about tradition: trimming the tree with family, taking in light displays around town, and seeing the Christmas Queen at a Vancouver TheatreSports League improv show.

The fourth incarnation of a show featuring the much maligned (and grudgingly beloved) Christmas Queen is as wickedly funny as ever, with just a little bit of heart to make everyone a believer in the holiday spirit.

From now until December 23, 2017, the Vancouver TheatreSports League (1502 Duranleau Street) presents Christmas Queen 4: Secret Santa.

For those new to the Christmas Queen, she’s basically the anti-Santa, a sardonic, bitter, and deliciously nasty character who would love to curse Christmas and banish all presents, ornaments, carols, and merry cheer to the dustbin forever. She would be loathsome if not for her fabulously dark humour. And maybe, in all that blackness, some goodness also lurks.

The premise of this year’s show involves the Christmas Queen intent on hijacking December 25th with her evil plans through a body exchange with none other than Kris Kringle (some ludicrous magic brings it all about). Suddenly, the elves in the North Pole’s Toy Factory must deal with an extra grouchy Santa, and Santa in his new Christmas Queen body develops an appreciation for the true character of his supposed nemesis.

Sourced from VTSL Instagram

The host of the 90-minute production is Buttons, an endearing elf-like figure who finds the perfect balance between saccharine energy and one-line zingers. The show has a rough story arc involving the main characters, but the rest relies on audience suggestions and the improv talents of the actors.

The cast of Christmas Queen 4 (subject to change depending on performance); Sourced from @serena4pr Instagram

This year’s show is part improv, part pantomime as Buttons urges the audience to cheer for Santa, and boo at the appearance of the Christmas Queen. He also guides the audience through various improv scenes throughout the evening, asking for a range of ideas: name a profession that you dreamed of pursuing when you were a kid (eg accountant); where’s somewhere you’d meet a friend to hang out (eg Starbucks); name an animal (eg an otter); what would you find at the bottom of a stocking (eg a rotten banana).

While the show draws upon a lot of recognizable Christmas symbols (eg Santa’s naughty or nice list), it also has some tongue-in-cheek local references (eg Santa greets kiddies at the Kingsgate Mall).

The overall result is clever, madcap, and also wonderfully festive. Audience participation feels natural, spontaneous, and good hearted for this show. At one point, a couple of overgrown kids even get the chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they want for Christmas. By the end, everyone in the theatre will be rooting not only for Santa but also for Her Royal Meanness (HRM), the energizer bunny of devilish fun, the Christmas Queen.

Further info and tickets can be found on-line.

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