A Very Die Hard Christmas Review – For a Laugh a Minute

Niek Versteeg, Sean Cowhig, Lauren Samuels, Kristal Dickerson, and Raymund King in A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS - Photo by Sandro Monetti
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Who hasn’t seen the hit series of “Die Hard” films starring Bruce Willis? On the thirty-fifth anniversary of the action classic’s release, Theatre 40 presents a nostalgic, hilarious musical parody of the first movie in the series. It just so happens that this particular action film takes place on Christmas eve, a night marked by more than Santa coming down the chimney.

Nick Bredosky and Niek Versteeg – Photo by Sandro Monetti

New York City cop John McClane (Niek Versteeg) misses Holly (Lauren Samuels), his long-distance wife, especially at this sentimental time of the year. When he flies to Los Angeles to visit Holly, he expects a warm reception full of holiday spirit. What he gets is a Christmas surprise to end all surprises. He’s decided to meet up with Holly at her office holiday party at the Nakatomi Plaza – which happens to be just around the corner from Theatre 40. But some unexpected guests show up – and that doesn’t include John. Even Joe Takagi (Raymund King) CEO of this mega-corporation, can’t stop Hans Gruber (Jesse Merlin) when he’s so ably assisted by sidekicks Helmut (Nick Bredosky) – who really lives up to his side kick – and Helga (Roslyn Cohn), the Bavarian Dominatrix Bombshell. But terrorists are not the best guests to celebrate the holiday with, especially when their fireworks are not the kind we expect. But heroes will be heroes, and John McClane is no exception. So let the non-stop die hard action begin!

Niek Versteeg, Lauren Samuels, and Sean Cowhig – Photo by Sandro Monetti

Cleverly directed by Sandro Monetti, who also contributed additional dialog, A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS is a side-splitting satire about mega-heroes – and mega-villains too, for that matter. The cast knows how to ham it up with hilarious results as they sing their hearts out to the original music of Elizabeth Rossie. Audience Alert: Listen carefully to the very funny lyrics. In association with the production, the Flynn/Hopper song “I’m John McClane” has been recorded by Niek Versteeg, with proceeds from the single donated to charities fighting aphasia, the disorder affecting “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis.

Raymund King, Kristal Dickerson, and Joe Clabby – Photo by Sandro Monetti

Kudos to everyone behind the scenes, including Marianne Parker for costumes, Nick Foran for sound and lighting design, Jeff G. Rack for set design, and choreography by Hisato Masuyama. And let’s not forget authors Jeff Schell and The Habit. So buckle up, all you Christmas cowboys, and get ready for a very special holiday production. You won’t want to miss this.

Lauren Samuels – Photo by Sandro Monetti

A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS runs through December 20, 2023, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday 12/10 and 12/17, and at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 12/20/23. Theatre Forty is located at 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, call 310-364-3606 or go online.


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