A must add to your 2018 Holiday list-
December and Winter in NYC mean many things … festive window displays, chilly temperatures and lots of parties, but the best party of all is my annual trek to see “The Doris Dear Christmas Special” starring Ray DeForest as Doris Dear. This year, Doris Dear had her ‘rumpus room’ set up at the Triad Theater on 72nd Street. It might have been cold outside, but at this party, everyone was welcomed with a whiskey sour and a wonderful evening of songs and stories. This now annual event was sold out, as Doris Dear welcomed us all into her party full of surprise guests.
This year’s show was full of that special Doris Dear good-natured humor as only Doris Dear can serve us. She wrapped us in her plush winter white coat (a nod to our First Ladies look for this year’s holiday pictures!) and took us on a fun-filled sleigh ride. The character of Doris Dear is inspired by Ray’s mother after she passed away from Alzheimer’s 2 years ago. His special bond with his mom inspired him to tell his stories of growing up in Staten Island with his parents Taffy and Duke. As Ray has said to me… “With parents named Taffy and Duke, the material writes itself!”
This year Doris welcomed into the rumpus room amazing performers to share the spotlight with. As Doris says, it’s a special show that is inspired by the old TV Holiday Specials of the 60’s where friends gather and have some fun. Doris Dear told stories throughout the show and brought her Better Homes and Gardens, or as Doris likes to call it…. “the bible of the American Housewife”, with her to give us some hilarious ideas for holiday gifts and traditions. Sean Harkness came by and played an amazing arrangement of holiday favorites on his guitar that charmed the audience. Singer/director Lina Koutrakos and singer Lisa Yaeger came in and hung out all evening with Doris, baking cookies, sharing stories and singing some holiday favorites and an original holiday tune. Musical director and piano player Rick Jensen gave us an original holiday song as well as a salute to Bruce Springsteen that the audience sang along with! Even bass player Steve Doyle got into the act with his funny yet charming rendition of an Elvis classic. It all ended with a sing-along of some holiday favorites and a touching story from Doris Dear.
Doris Dear is by no means only a comedian, she is a MAC Award-winning vocalist and gave us some holiday favorites and some surprises as well. Her duet of “Happy Days/Get Happy” with Lisa Yaeger was amazing and elicited applause as the notes soared. Her comedy duet with Lina Koutrakos, “I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas”, was a song most had never heard, and as Lina exclaimed, “This song stinks ladies and gentlemen!” Far from the truth, it brought the house down and I hope they keep for future shows.
Doris Dear knows showbiz and her shows have that perfect mix of great singing, clean wholesome comedy and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling that is hard to find these days. I would recommend a Doris Dear show any time of the year. Few evenings at a show fill you with so much happiness and make you leave with a smile like a Doris Dear show.