January is possibly the dreariest month of the year. Christmas is over, the New Year has begun, and the first few weeks are full of overly optimistic and newly broken resolutions. However, there is one last chance to recapture that holiday cheer and warm, comforting nostalgia, and that is Recent Cutbacks’ KEVIN!!!!!, an on-stage shot-for-shot re-enactment of Home Alone.
When I reviewed Hold On To Your Butts, Recent Cutbacks’ take on Jurassic Park, the show only had two actors and a live Foley artist/musician. In KEVIN!!!!!, the ensemble has expanded to include four actors/puppeteers to play the story’s many characters and a four-person choir to sing the film’s memorable score. Additionally, the set has become much more complex and intricate, adding a miniature version of the McCallister’s house, live video projections, and a zip line for one of the movie’s climactic scenes.
With all these upgrades in the production, KEVIN!!!!! maintains the sweet, scrappy nature of Recent Cutbacks’ other shows. They find creative ways to recreate classic moments from the movie while adding their own humor, like John Candy’s character being played by an actual jar of candy or a cop as a puppet donut. The set, miniature house, and puppets all have a homemade, rough-around-the-edges aesthetic to them. It’s like an elementary school holiday craft project came to life on stage, but even though they make it look simple, it is deceptively complex in its artistry and production design.
One last element that must be highlighted from KEVIN!!!!! is the music and the contribution of the choir to the show. A large part of why people love Home Alone, though they might not realize it, is the film’s soundtrack. “Carol Of The Bells,” The Drifters’ “White Christmas,” and Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” are inseparable from Home Alone and the emotional beats in those moments, so much so that the score and the song “Somewhere In My Memory” were nominated for Academy Awards. The show’s choir is small, only two men and two women, but they more than make up for their numbers in talent. In particular, the soprano’s high notes in “O Holy Night” prompted a spontaneous applause break from the audience. Hear the choir for yourself in these clips below:
There are only three more chances to see KEVIN!!!!! at the PIT, tonight at 8:00 PM, Friday at 7:00 PM, and Saturday at 9:30 PM. I can think of no better way to shake off January’s dreariness than seeing this show, whether for the first time or again. Tickets are only $20, and if you catch tonight’s show, you can also see Fly, You Fools!, Recent Cutbacks’ take on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, at 9:30 PM and pay only $30 for both shows. Click here to buy tickets for KEVIN!!!! and here for tonight’s Fly, You Fools! double-feature special.