Rich Gray’s Forbidden Xmas – Cabaret/Concert – Showtunes Theatre Company

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Rich Gray’s Forbidden Xmas w/ Showtunes Theatre Company at Cornish Playhouse At Seattle Center. Strong vocals in this revival of a satirical #cabaret-like #Christmas concert show celebrating life in #Seattle & #PugetSound. #theatre #PNW

Synopsis from the Theatre: Showtunes brings back a Seattle holiday tradition. Rich Gray’s Forbidden Xmas is the perfect pairing for the 2022 holiday season in the northwest. A bit of silly seasonal satire for the whole family. Make this part of your holiday tradition this year. Forbidden Xmas was an annual holiday tradition for many years in Seattle. Written by Seattle’s own Rich Gray, this holiday musical parody show is updated to poke fun and celebrate the northwest during the holidays. It’s time to bring this hit back to the northwest with some new songs and sketches as well as some of the favorites from its past productions in the 90s. Showtunes brings back Forbidden Xmas to life at Cornish Playhouse this December 17 and 18 with an all-star Seattle cast.

Reviewed Performance: 12/17 Opening Night – THERE ARE ONLY TWO SHOWS in this limited run so buy your ticket today if you want to see this show!

Type: Cabaret-like Concert Show

World Premiere: No – This is an updated revival of an old annual show from the 90s.

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Recommendation: See it if 1) you like satirical cabarets with no plot 2) and if you’ve lived in Seattle for a couple of years. I’ve lived here for 6 years so I was able to appreciate most of the Seattle references.

Was This the First Time I Saw a Production of this Show: Yes

Rating Compared to Other Shows with the Same Production Value:
4 Stars (Out of 5 Stars)

Equity Actors: The program doesn’t mention this but I wouldn’t be surprised if all 4 main actors were Equity.

Length: 2 hours

Intermission: Yes

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts

  • Song about Seattle Theatre: As a person who loves to watch musicals about musicals (like The Prom and Something Rotten!), I enjoyed the song that mentioned many Seattle theatre references. It was one of the first songs … maybe “Cash Cow”. I’m proud to say that I understood all the sly references and saw all the shows they mentioned that are currently playing! 🙂
  • Theatre Kids Song: Other than the song mentioned above, I particularly enjoyed “In Her Eyes,” which was about how children can still enjoy shows while adults (like me!) nitpick problematic elements.
  • Favorite Lines: When Jason Kappus said, “I’m gonna drain the ole goose. Honk! Honk!” Or when Billie Wildrick as a caroler greeted, “Wassail!” There was a funny lyric that said Seattle “men smell like moss and Women like it.” During a song about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) someone said, “I couldn’t help but notice that you’re singing in a minor key.”


  • Off-brand Songs: The show could have done without two songs that were randomly aboutthe Titanic movie and Seattle sports. These two songs felt out of place in a Christmas show. It didn’t help that I don’t like sports either.
  • Microphones: Most of the time, all 4 main performers were equally/adequately mic’ed. But I noticed in the beginning that 3 performers drowned out one person. There were also 4 “ensemble” performers who doubled as stage crew. The group microphone that the 4 minor performers shared was effective but when they had to speak/sing several feet away from their group microphone, it was difficult to hear them and it obviously didn’t equalize well with the 4 main performers. I suggest giving the 4 ensemble performers microphones when they’re not at their main group microphone.

Theatre Company: Showtunes Theatre Company

Venue: Cornish Playhouse

Venue Physical Address: 201 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Price: Medium

Dates: Only December 17 – 18, 2022

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: There are paid lots and paid street parking. I usually park on Mercer to the West of 1st Ave. There’s usually also a lot of street parking around Safeway. If there’s an event in Seattle Center or Climate Pledge Arena, street parking is usually limited and much more expensive. In those cases, I’ll park further north up on Queen Anne Hill.

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@showsiveseen "Rich Gray's Forbidden #Xmas" w/ Showtunes Theatre Company at Cornish Playhouse. Strong vocals in this revival of a satirical #cabaret-like #Christmas #concert show celebrating life in #Seattle & #PugetSound. Review: #theatre #PNW ♬ Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC

Corners Grove – Play – Cornish College of the Arts

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Corners Grove play by Cornish College of the Arts at Cornish Playhouse At Seattle Center. Modern take on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Reminded me of TV shows about privileged California teens & young adults.

Synopsis from New Play Exchange: A reverent nod to Our Town by Thornton Wilder, this play follows a group of young people in the town of Corner’s Grove from high school into adulthood as they deal with leaving home, falling in love, gender identity, and the death of Whitney Houston. It’s a story about growing up and hometowns, friendship and drinking in parking lots.

Reviewed Performance Date: 11/6/22 Afternoon

Type: Play

World Premiere: No

Recommendation: See it if you like the original Our Town play.

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now?: Yes, if it was produced by an Equity Theatre.

Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 4 stars

Equity Actors: Zero but they were good.


  • I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the original Our Town (since I’ve never seen it) or this newer script but the play didn’t seem relatable through my POC eyes. It sort of reminded me of Dawson’s Creek or 90210 without the sex. Think of the MadTV parody “Pretty White Kids With Problems.”
  • I feel like audience members who previously saw the original Our Town would enjoy this more.

Other Rave(s)

  • The narrator had a great effortless feminine style.

Theatre Company : Cornish College of the Arts

Venue: Cornish Playhouse

Venue Physical Address: 201 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Price: Cheap

Dates: November 3 to 6, 2022

Seating: General Admission

Parking: Paid lot, paid street, or free street parking. The free parking is a couple blocks north as you go deeper (and higher) into Queen Anne.

Social Media Posts: Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Cast and Production Team: Under the video

Other Video +/- Pictures:

@showsiveseen "Corners Grove" #play by #Cornish College at Cornish Playhouse in Seattle Center. Modern take on #ThorntonWilder's #OurTown. Reminded me of TV shows about privileged California teens & young adults. Review: #theatre ♬ goodbye & thank u – Kira Kosarin
Sam Craig (u/s Halle, Luke)Adna Palic (They/Them)
Julia Webb (u/s Rebecca)Anika Thorson (She/Her)
Stacy McAllister (u/s Emily)Bryanna Finley (She/They)
Jo Crowell (u/s Julia)Catherine Tarlov (She/Her)
Simon Stimson (u/s George)Daniel Haskey (He/Him)
Melissa Cartwright (u/s Stage Manager, Wally)Emma Majewski (They/Them)
Halle Newsome (u/s Stacy)Emma Chang (She/Her)
Rebecca GibbsHattie Mae Rich (They/Them)
Luke Lorberbaum (u/s Simon)Jasper Law (He/Him)
Stage Manager (Character)Jo Branchflower (She/Her)
Lou Soames (u/s Vi, Sam)Kendal Butin (She/They)
Belligerent Audience Member,
Madeleine Beckner (She/They)
Maddy Pulaski (They/She)
Vi Crowell (u/s Joe)Vanessa (u/s Melissa, Lou)
Wally WebbMario Espinoza (He/They)
George GibbsPeter Schafer(He/They/She)
Emily WebbSena Hanson-Walker (They/Them)
Playwright and DirectorKaela Mei-Shing Garvin (They/She)
Technical DirectorMatthew McCarren (He/Him)
Assistant DirectorWill Boyer-Montgomery (He/They)
CarpenterKevyn Jordon-McKind (She/Her)
Intimacy DirectorSarah Harlett (She/Her)
Stage ManagerLarcyn Burnett (They/Them)
Scenic DesignerPaige Arseneau (She/They)
Assistant Stage ManagerAlex Walker (They/He)
Costume DesignerCaden Green (He/They)
Assistant Scenic Designer & Lead CarpenterEmma Boyd (She/Her)
Lighting DesignerCami Taliaferro-Barber (She/Her)
Assistant Lighting DesignerLocke Landis (He/Him)
Sound DesignerEmily Doorenbos (They/She)
Charge Scenic PainterJessica Christensen (She/Her)
Dresser/Stage HandBen Barton (He/Him)
Hero Stroverud-Myers (She/her)
Run CrewEm Weihofen (They/She)
Spot OpNolan Spencer (He/Him)
Light Board OpDominique Salas
Performance Production Area HeadMelanie Burgess (She/Her)
Visual & Performing Arts Production ManagerGavin Yehle (He/Him)
Theatre Department Faculty ChairSheila Daniels (She/Her)
Scenic/Props Design AdvisorMatthew Smucker (He/Him)
Scene Shop SupervisorMatthew McCarren (He/Him)
Production Lab InstructorAmy LaZerte (She/Her)
Lighting Design AdvisorPeter Maradudin (He/Him)
Props & Paint SupervisorJessica Christensen (She/Her)
Director of CSESPinky Estell (He/Him)
CSES Technical SupervisorMarc Mixon (He/Him)
Sound Design AdvisorTom Fallat (He/Him)
Costume Shop Supervisor & Practicum AdvisorCarl Bronsdon (He/Him)
Patron Service ManagerTony Rinehart (They/Them)
Stage Management AdvisorBret Torbeck (He/Him)
Theatre / Performance Prodcution Department CoordinatorRachel Brinn (She/Her)

Jesus Christ Superstar – Musical – Cornish College of the Arts

@JesusChristSuperstar w/ @CornishCollegeOfTheArts. Unexpected #postApocalyptic #tribal airport theme. Casting (mostly #genderBlind) was not well suited for vocal ranges & the shortage of male theatre actors was grossly apparent. Great band & choreography though.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” w/ Cornish College of the Arts. Unexpected post-apocalyptic tribal airport theme. Casting (mostly gender-blind) was not well suited for vocal ranges & the shortage of male theatre actors was grossly apparent. Great band & choreography though.