Arts | Music

'Tis the Season: Are You Ready for This Year's White (Album) Christmas?

OPB | Dec. 13, 2012 7:30 a.m.

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White Album Christmas 2011

White Album Christmas 2011

OPB

Portland’s premiere alternative Christmas extravaganza is back for its fifth year.

The White Album Christmas began as the brainchild of March Fourth Marching Band‘s John Averill and Wanderlust Circus‘ Noah Mickens and Nick The Creature. The trio thought it would be fun to play the Beatles’ White Album start to finish while circus acts performed along side. Since the ensemble’s first performance in 2008, the show has become a Portland holiday tradition. One part of the show’s success is the enormous number of talented folks who perform in it year after year.

“I don’t suppose I could ever get my entire artistic milieu together in a single room,” comments Mickens. “But the White Album Christmas is pretty close.”

This year, the troupe of circus performers known as the Wanderlust Circus (recently profiled in Oregon Art Beat‘s special “Art Beat Goes to the Circus“) and the “Nowhere Band,” an ensemble of Portland’s premiere musicians, team up again for a faithful concert of White Album songs along with a novel twist on a now-familiar story template.

The recurring story goes like this: Noah Mickens plays circus ringmaster William Batty. Batty finds himself the unwitting victim of perennial villain Bruno Knickerbocker (played by Russell Bruner). Knickerbocker constantly invents wily stratagems to take over Batty’s beloved circus.

Go See It!

In the 2009 show, Knickerbocker slyly employed a team of mechanical dolls to imprison Batty in a giant Christmas gift, thereby leaving the circus ripe for the taking.

In the 2010 show, Knickerbocker framed Batty for a bank robbery, thus eliminating his competition for possession of the circus.

And last year, Knickerbocker used a wild woman (belly dancer Tiare Tashnick, aka NagaSita) to lure Batty away from his circus.

This year — without giving away too much — Bruno Knickerbocker returns with another dastardly plot, possibly employing the skills of Dutch, the Spandex King of Portland and western clown Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein (David Lichtenstein).

Will the villainous Knickerbocker ever tire of his quest for Batty’s circus? Portland audiences hope not!

Check out our in-depth look at the event here.

This year’s White Album Christmas will take place December 21, 22, and 23rd at Portland’s Alberta Rose Theatre. If you’d like to experience the spectacle for yourself, a word of warning: The show consistently sells out, so get your tickets now!

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