THIS WOULD BE THE YEAR TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO created and performed by Andrew Shaver, Kayla Fell, Alastair Forbes and Harmony Trowbridge, story by Adam Wolters and Jodi Essery, directorial collaboration by Wolters. Presented by A Sadlings' Theatre of Joy and Wonder at Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to December 21, Thursday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2 pm. $15, stu/srs $12, Sunday pwyc. 416-504-7529. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Wilson is a nebbish, a doormat walked on by everyone in his life. He fantasizes about a better life when he looks into a department store window's Mexican Christmas display, and imagines being loved by family and new friends. Created and performed by the members of A Sadling's Theatre of Joy and Wonder , This Would Be The Year To Spend Christmas In Mexico follows Wilson on the eventful day - which includes his father's retirement and a family holiday party - when he decides to declare his independence in a strikingly sartorial fashion.
There are some good ideas in this 40-minute clown-based show, but they're too rarely funny in the playing. Some are leadenly executed, while others are insufficiently developed.
This young troupe is still worth checking out, though, for the work of two of the performers. Harmony Trowbridge plays several sharp-edged figures, including a seemingly concerned sales clerk and Wilson's snide, number-crunching co-worker. And the Jim Carrey-ish Andrew Shaver is the increasingly manic Wilson, who might finally get to celebrate his first feliz navidad.