Cindy Lou Who explains soiled past in ‘Who’s Holiday’




Posted by Katie Gilchrist on Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ah, yes, little Cindy Lou Who, famous toddler from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has grown up, grown older, parted from the Whoville upbringing, led a sordid life, and reaches out to her friends for the holidays.

For her Christmas spirit, she invites her friends to join her for a celebration on Christmas Eve in her very own mobile home. Even though she originally led an innocent life, her attraction to the Grinch caused her to stray from the straight and narrow.

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Cindy Lou explains her past situations, the mistakes she made, and takes the audience on a trip down her Memory Lane while divulging a life far from the happy hollow of Whoville. Viewers enjoy her stories, hopes, and dreams in a one-act format. “Who’s Holiday” allows the audience to reminisce with Cindy Lou while understanding her current predictament.

“Who’s Holiday!” written by Matthew Lombardo returns to Kansas City via Padgett Productions.

Last season, Padgett Productions introduced local audiences to a grown-up Cindy Lou as one of only nine production offers throughout the United States. Still fresh to most KC Metro theater-goers, the show generated enough buzz as to call for a seasonal return this season.

An abbreviated run of only seven performances, Padgett Productions expects strong ticket demand. “Who’s Holiday” opened Dec. 6 and runs two more weekends.

Padgett prides himself in that his company produces shows that resonate to the counter-culture, younger audiences. As Nick Padgett carves out his space in the KC area, his successful shows sell out consistently, encouraging him to repeat as his audience grows. His production of “Hair” drew rave reviews this season. “Rocky Horror Live” sold out several performances as did his “Mamma Mia!” which will return next season.

An adult, street-wise, jailbird, foul-rhyming Cindy Lou Who comes from the creative talents of Helena Cosentino, whose range includes serious dramatic roles, to comedy parts, to a self-penned one-woman portrait of Gilda Radner, and to this hilarious take on the grown up, pot smoking, Grinch-sex addicted Cindy Lou Who. Cosentino excels in the recitation of pages of rhyming dialogue so similar in format to Dr. Seuss children’s books. “Who’s Holiday” presents quite a challenge for a 90-minute one woman show with lots of dialogue, lots of vocal inflections, lots of rhyme. With no other actor on stage, Cosnentino must memorize the dialogue to deliver flawlessly–and she does.

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From the moment she enters the stage, Cosentino smiles, flirts, waves, connects with the audience and quickly puts them under her spell. The tongue-in-cheek performance moves back and fourth between pure silliness and light comedy as Cindy Lou unfurls her life story while awaiting a series of guests to her Christmas party.

Unfortunately, Cindy Lou receives a series of regrets (with lame excuses) concerning the guest’s unfortunate circumstances that disallows their attendance at her party. Cosentino uses her vast facial expressions, her split-second comedy timing, body language, costume, and vocal prowess to navigate each regret before fading back into her life story.

Never will the audience catch a malfunction in the character Cosentino develops and builds through the show. While the show has some insightful moments and messages, they are given with a smile and a gentle nudge to contemplate. The show uplifts, and Cosentino just commands the stage from the entrance. With no other characters to play off of, she carries the entire burden of pages of rhyming dialogue and all the emotional needs of the show. Her performance is brilliant.

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The creative team for “Who’s Holiday” is Katie Gilchrist, director; Nick Padgett, producing artistic director; Jill Smith, production manager;  Lacey Pacheco, lighting design; Kate Sanders, master electrician; R.J. Parish, Nick Padgett, production design; R.J. Parish, set construction; Morgan Meyer, makeup artist; Sonia Jacobson, front of house, Fran Kapono-Kuzila, costumes.

“Who’s Holiday” concludes Dec. 21, so chances to see this fantastic piece are limited. However, Padgett said the show will return next season to lighten up the holidays. The performance venue is located in the Lewis Curtiss Studio Building, 1118 McGee Street, Kansas City, MO 64106 (formerly Prohibition Hall). Opening weekend sold out. Only 5 performances remain to get in on the naughty holiday fun. Tickets can be purchased at Padgett’s website.

Tags: Who’s Holiday, Padgett Productions, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment


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