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KID STUFF

A HOMESPUN COLLECTION : This Plum G-Rated Revue Bounces All Over the Yuletide Map

November 29, 1990|CORINNE FLOCKEN | Corinne Flocken is a free-lance writer who regularly covers Kid Stuff for The Times Orange County Edition

If you would rather find a macaroni-studded pencil cup than a pricey necktie under the Christmas tree, you should feel right at home at "Dolls, Drums and Sugar Plums . . . or, Mama, There's a Fat Man Stuck in Our Chimney."

Opening tonight at Orange Coast College's Theatre Lab, "Dolls" is a homespun collection of songs, skits, dances and monologues created and produced by 20 OCC theater arts students under the direction of Joan McGillis. Played on a hand-me-down set with a grab bag of costumes and props provided by the students, "Dolls"--described by McGillis as "absolutely G-rated"--doesn't aspire to be a slick holiday spectacular. It has no flying angels, no celebrity voice-overs, not even an ice-skating mouse.

"Last August, we all got together and talked about what Christmas meant to us . . . what we liked about it that was traditional and not so traditional," said McGillis, who is a four-year veteran of OCC's theater department and the mother of actress Kelly McGillis of "Top Gun" fame. "We discovered that every one of us has our own unique feelings about the holidays. Everybody had something to put into the pot." Student Michael Nottingham strung together the group's favorite carols, poems, stories and original sketches in a loose script, and students and instructors teamed up to provide technical assistance.

Not surprisingly, "Dolls" bounces all over the yuletide map, taking audiences from the North Pole to Main Street, U.S.A., to a Madison Avenue boardroom. Old standards, such as "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" cozy up to less familiar tunes such as Stan Freberg's satirical "Green Christmas." Sugarplums are tempered by the bittersweet, such as "Eloise's Christmas," a monologue based on Kay Thompson's 1958 tale "Eloise at Christmastime."

The resulting hour-and-a-half Christmas collage will appeal to adults and children as young as age 5, McGillis said.

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