Painful Holiday Musical Scenes Highlight Blacktip Island Extravaganza

Excruciating musicals

The cast of this year’s Most Excruciating Holiday Musicals perform during their dress rehearsal Thursday evening at the Blacktip Island Heritage House. (photo courtesy of the University of Utah)

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform its annual selection of cringe-worthy excerpts from a dozen Christmas musicals Saturday and Sunday evenings to raise money for local charities.

“Most people spend the holiday season watching one agonizing musical after another, often barely recuperating from one before the next starts,” said Doris Blenny, BICP’s creative director. “The point of this show is to tear off the Band-Aid, so to speak, and get the worst of it over with in less than an hour.

“After this, even if you want to watch holiday musicals, that urge will be burned out of your system,” Blenny said. “We think of it as holiday cauterization. Our aim is to get everyone through the agonizing parts of the holidays as quickly as we can.”

The event owes much of its appeal to the quality of the local singers.

“None of these people can sing a note, but that’s the point,” resident Jay Valve said. “Last year, Cori brought the house down with ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You,’ because she sang so off-key. You’ll remember, she was the one who voiced the airplane engines and the machine guns in Tora ! Tora! Tora!

This year’s performance will honor several classic holiday films.

“We’ll be paying homage to White Christmas, partly to take advantage of the talent we have this year,” Blenny said. “Antonio does a great Bing Crosby. Not the singing, mind you, but the body language. And Dermott does a surprisingly good Rosemary Clooney. We tried him in a Vera-Ellen dance routine, but he broke too much furniture.

“We’re also spicing things up with a Meet Me In St. Louis number,” Blenny added. ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ will feature Alison Diesel’s interpretation of little Margaret O’Brien’s snowman-bashing scene. Those in the first three rows are advised to wear eye protection for Christmas light shards, and motorcycle helmets in case Alison loses her grip on the baseball bat.”

Blenny’s warning was not necessary for some.

“I always wear ear protectors and earplugs at this gig,” resident Val Schrader said. “Payne Hanover and Catalina Luxfer’s screeching that date rape song from Elf about did me in back in 2007. The muffs and plugs don’t totally block the sound, but they take the edge off.”

Audience members are asked to wear ugly Christmas sweaters. Proceeds from the event to go Blacktip Island Meals on Wheels and the Retired Seaman’s Association.


Ask Dermott:

Yo, Dermott,

With everyone so tense about sexual harassment these days, the company Christmas party is going to be a minefield, what with the booze, the mistletoe and coworkers hanging out under the mistletoe – intentionally or not. Help me out here. Why’s it called ‘mistletoe?’ – Who in Whoville


‘Mistletoe’ is Old English for ‘kick to the crotch.’

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