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REVIEW: Baked Holidays at Angels We Have Heard Are High (Brave New Workshop)

A promotional photo for Brave New Workshop’s holiday production, Angels We Have Heard Are High. Photo by Dani Werner.

Holidays bring snacks, stress, and (often) self-medication. Brave New Workshop’s current holiday show throws these together as Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!). As the title suggests, the “baked” part of the self-medication in this show is euphemistic. AWHHAH is a humorous set of alternative holiday programming that for the most part lands on the sweet spot of hilarity.

The lineup for this show features Lauren Anderson, Denzel Belin, Doug Neithercott, and Taj Ruler, with stage direction by Caleb McEwen and music direction by Jon Pumper. Some of the funniest skits play off Midwestern (and Minnesotan) passive-aggressiveness, featuring angry carolers and competing Salvation Army bellringers. Another delightful skit pokes fun about the contemporary obsession with triggering and trigger warnings. The second act in particular has a fine pacing to it and comedic variety.

On a more odious note comes from a skit about flatulence. This is a subject that I hope to have banished from my stage viewing forevermore, as well as from my television and movie screen, but they can’t all be winners for all people. Like lutefisk, sometimes you just have to admit that it’s not a taste for everyone and move on to the next skit, because the second act is worth it.

Angels We Have Heard Are High plays through January 26, 2019 at Brave New Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Amy Donahue