Theatre Review: The Almost Perfect Party

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Everybody’s heard a story about a carefully planned Christmas party that turned into a disaster.

(Ding dong…)
That’s the premise on which Buck Busfield based his new play. But this project is somewhat at odds with itself.
On the one hand, it wants to be a holiday play – an upbeat story about suffering souls who learn to put their troubled lives in perspective, and begin to see the value of everyday existence, at least on Christmas Day.
On the other hand, this play wants to be a farce – and that means slamming doors, sexual innuendo, and in this case, an inebriated guy wearing little more than his underwear and a red Santa cap.

“I’m less drunk now than I was an hour ago.”
“Progress, not perfection.”
(Smash. Bang)

The drunk Santa hits a guy on the head, leading to an apparent fatality – which Santa’s sidekick attempts to gloss over.

“Ease up on him, he’s going through a bit of a rough patch.”
“A rough patch? He killed this man. I’d say he’s going through a rough patch.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Sorry!” “Sorry!”

The combination of the two styles just doesn’t work. It’s rather like serving candy canes alongside sardines. Those flavors are good on their own. But put them together and. . . Let’s just say this play is an interesting experiment, and give the B Street credit for staging an original new script. But sometimes, experiments don’t work out.

The Almost Perfect Party continues at the B Street Theatre through January 3, 2010