“Dashing Through the Snow” is one of those shows that is simply impossible to overplay.
After all, when a play is set at the Snowflake Inn in Tinsel, Texas, and it’s Christmas time, too, how else could you approach it?
The Christmas comedy, which opened Friday at the Rochester Repertory Theatre, is full of zany characters and crazy happenings. It all starts with the set, by Ed Boos and Quinten Frarck, which goes overboard with the candy cane wallpaper, wreaths, lights, figurines and two huge stockings hung by the chimney with care.
Then come the four stories that make up the play, which is directed for the Rep by Cheryl Frarck. They take place on the four days leading up to Christmas Eve. In the first, the latest fantasy a couple dreams up to keep their marriage spicy goes awry. In the second, a well-meaning young man tries to reunite his two battling aunts. In the third, two well-traveled thespians take the inn by storm. And in the final scene, a no-longer-young local debutante gets ready for her sixth “weddun.”
Christine Boos plays the breathless and exasperated innkeeper who links the stories together. The other members of the cast — Blake Hogue, Lisa Johnson Koenig, Becci Miller, Karen Masbruch, Annette Schuler and Mike Tri — play multiple characters, with Frarck stepping in to play one of the aunts in the second scene.
That particular scene, by the way, is likely the funniest bit you’ll see this holiday season, with Frarck and Miller as the battling aunts circling each other like growling wolverines.
Hogue and Masbruch are fun as the two actors on the loose in the third scene, with Hogue especially pulling out all the stops in a scene that, again, is impossible to underplay.
Koenig’s Honey Rae in the final scene is a loving satire of a woman who thinks the biggest problem with her wedding “gown” is that her leopard-skin thong might be showing.
The key, of course, is exactly that: All of this is a loving satire of people who, while they may be strange, are not that far from folks we could know — if we spent the holidays in Tinsel, Texas.
“Dashing Through the Snow,” written by Jamie Wooten, Jessie Jones and Nicholas Hope, is not deep and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than silly. But it’s an enjoyable way to spend an evening during the holiday season.