Stopping down in the River Arts District to see what new frontiers of debauchery the Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will boldly cross has become an annual tradition for many Ashevillians. The show, a holiday sketch comedy romp that delights audiences with completely new material each year, has sold out nearly every performance for the past six years.
This will be the second year the delightfully drunken Bernsteins will be in Magnetic 375, on Depot Street, the home of the The Magnetic Theatre. While the cast remains unchanged for the third straight year, the show will see a new director at the helm for the first time since 2012. Jeff Catanese, well-known to Asheville audiences from work with Attic Salt Theatre Company as well as Asheville Community Theatre, is directing the Bernstein crew this season. “All of the Bernsteins have been excited about the new energy Jeff brings to the team,” said the show’s producer Chall Gray. “Sex-crazed Judy Bernstein complimented both his stamina and smooth pectorals, and stoner Jimbo Bernstein described his lung capacity as ‘whoa.’ ”
The Bernsteins’ R-rated screwball skewering of various holiday traditions and tropes was described by Tony Kiss of Asheville Scene as “The holiday show to see in Asheville.” The show stars a number of Asheville’s best-known actors, including Darren Marshall and Tracey Johnston-Crum (who was voted best actress in the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC for the fourth straight year this summer). The Bernsteins will bring their signature mix of skits, songs, bong hits, dance numbers, and excessive drinking to Magnetic 375 for a limited run (which will, as with all Bernstein Spectaculars, be intended for mature audiences only). “We look forward to connecting with the cockles of the hearts of our fans this holiday season,” Gray said.
The show is expected to sell out, so advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. The Magnetic Theatre, founded in 2009, has been a leading theatre in WNC since its formation, and the annual Bernstein Christmas Spectacular has become the most anticipated annual theatre event in WNC--don’t miss this essential element of the holidays in Asheville!
Directed by Jeff Catanese. Scenic Design by Kehren Barbour. Sound Design by Tommy Calloway. Choreography and Costumes by Elizabeth Evans. Props by Jim Julien. Stage Management by Deanna Braine. Starring Tracey Johnston-Crum, Darren Marshall, Glenn Reed, Erik Moellering, & Kirby Gibson. Written by Lucia Del Vecchio, Genevieve Packer, Peter Lundblad and Jim Julien. Produced by Chall Gray. The 45th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will be performed at Magnetic 375, located at 375 Depot St, in the River Arts District of Asheville, December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 21-23, showtimes 7:30 p.m. nightly, and 10:00 p.m. late shows December 10 and 17.