"A Backstage Christmas" is about as deep as a greeting card, but that's just fine. That's what it is intended to be.
This West Coast premiere concerns five struggling actors in New York facing the world alone just before the holidays. Their diverse backgrounds and individual memories are the springboards for Richard Berent and Douglas Braverman's songs. Tegan Powell's Connie has the best one, "One Single Candle," a refreshing description of what Hanukkah means to her. Still, Theodore Schraff's puppydog-like Rick is the most affecting character as he grapples with whether to stay in the city or to go back home. Directed energetically, inventively and affectionately by Jeffrey D. Ault (who contributed the book), "A Backstage Christmas" wishes its audience a happy holiday in a pleasantly different way.