To Spend a “Last Christmas” at the Fringe

By Ernest Kearney  —  If you watch enough of the shows produced by that Fringe stalwart Michael Blaha you realize he knows one of the great secrets of successful producers.  Forget helicopters flying over the audience or high-tech computerized video effects or a Kà stage with grid rigging and hydraulic rising platforms. All one needs to make great theatre is a space, solid acting, and a story worthy of being told and worthy of being heard.

That is exactly what Last Christmas offers.

Tom is a miserable unpleasant A-hole, who is rude and dismissive to just about everybody, and from the moment he opens his mouth, the audience begins to wonder how they’re going to survive the next hour with this annoying moaner.

“Last Christmas” Producer, Michael Blaha (HFF18)

And then Welsh playwright Matthew Bulgo takes us down the rabbit hole of Tom’s humanity, and along the way allows us the chance of testing our own.

Last Christmas is an introverted take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a kind of It’s a Wonderful Life; only we start and finish in Pottersville and Jimmy Stewart is nowhere in sight.

Co-produced by Matthew Quinn and deftly directed by John Coppola, Evan McNamara is the sullen and crabby White Rabbit of the evening and upon whose strength and talent the success of the piece depends.

It is somewhat akin to witnessing Lawrence Talbot’s transformation in reverse; seeing as he changes from snarling beast to a suffering soul.  It is a Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutiontransformation that doesn’t just make for great theatre but serves as a needed reminder to look before we judge.

For the well-applied lesson a GOLD MEDAL.


♦     ♦     ♦


Last Christmas

Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018


Friday, June 22 2018, 10:00pm


Studio C

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

Last Christmas

Is Extended To Play


Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 8:30pm


For Show Information, Tickets and Reservations Go To:


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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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