Blank Canvas’ ‘Die Hard Musical Parody’ is a real holiday romp


For whatever reasons there are many people around the country and possibly around the world that consider the first Bruce Willis “Die Hard” movie...holiday fare. After all it does take place on Christmas Eve, Roy Rogers whose TV show spawned a multi-million dollar Christmas toy industry is mentioned (his catch phrase is used throughout the film with a small adaption) and the main character John McClane delivers a large teddy bear to his estranged wife (a gift for his children). So who is to argue with that kind of logic? That is why among the cornucopia of holiday themed shows Blank Canvas unleashes “Yippee-Ki-Yay Merry Christmas A Die Hard Musical Parody”

NYPD Officer Bruce McClane (Danny Simpson) has traveled on Christmas Eve all the way to California to meet up with his estranged wife, Holly Generic (Olivia Petrey) who works in the Nakatomi Towers building. She left New York City in order to “find herself” (this is the 80s after all) and now is responsible for selling millions of dollars of bonds that can be cashed practically anywhere. Her boss, Nitendo Nakatomi (Noah Hrbek) is in sole possession of the final code to the vault where the bonds are stored.

During the office Christmas party, and unknown to McClane, Hans Ono (Chris Bizub) and his henchmen, Klaus (Meg Martinez) and safe cracker Fabrique (Venchise Glenn-Phillips) have arrived to break into the safe, steal all of the bonds and blow up the entire building. When Bruce learns of this he reasons that this may be a bad thing and decides to put a stop to it.

The musical takes all of its cues from the original 1988 “Die Hard” movie that in its day was a sociopolitical statement on the Reagan era trickle down economics and in general hard hitting action films of the time.

Sprinkled in among the cast is coke fiend Willis (Zach Palumbo), Twinkies addicted LAPD officer Carl Winslow, IN-YOUR-FACE FBI Agent Johnson (Kyle Burnett), LAPD Captain Dwayne T. Principle Vernon Robinson (Kate Leigh Michalski) and Arnold Schwartzen-Schnitzel (Aaron Patterson).

This show is the perfect vehicle for those zany guys at Blank Canvas to celebrate the holidays. It is chock full of singing, dancing, far fetched plots, over-the top action and comic book like character stereotyping. While seeing the original ‘Die Hard’ is not required viewing it probably would not hurt so that you are up to speed with the various gags.

The jokes and spoofs fly with reckless abandon including a SWAT Team ballet, a tribute to the wonders of cocaine, a man’s love affair with Twinkies, why being a head of a criminal enterprise requires you to dress sharp (the reason for the heist is to pay off a London clothing bill), Cowboys vs. Germans, over-the-top bad-ass FBI Agents and the wisdom of always wearing shoes especially when there is lots of broken glass around.

Make no mistake about it, due to the adult language and situations this is an adults only show so leave the kiddies at home with a good sitter. After all you should at least be well aware of the catch phrase Yippee-Ki-Yay...well you know the rest of it.

Tickets will be die-hard to come by as the show winds down its December run with the final performance scheduled for Saturday, December 21st. If your looking for a really well done Christmas parody this one will blow you away.

“Yippee-Ki-Yay Marry Christmas A Die Hard Musical Parody” runs through December 21, 2019 at Blank Canvas Theatre, 1305 W. 78th Street, Suite 211, Cleveland, Ohio. For tickets and information visit www.blankcanvastheatrecom or call (440) 941-0456.

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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

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