Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Spinal Tap's Harry Shearer & Judith Owen Present 'Christmas Without Tears (Does This Tree Make Me Look Fat?)'

Welsh-born, Los Angeles-based pianist and singer-songwriter Judith Owen and her husband, actor and humorist Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap) are spreading their special brand of yuletide cheer with their Christmas Without Tears 2016 Tour. 

What Owen describes as “an antidote to Xmas,” the witty and heartwarming show features an all-star array of friends and guests dropping into Owen and Shearer’s onstage living room to share a song, a story or a laugh – a perfect mix that makes for a true variety show.

After kicking off on December 8 with a date at the Kings Place Concert Hall in London, the two are back in the United States for four shows. This past Sunday (December 11), they appeared in Evanston, IL.

This coming Saturday (December 17), they'll be in Los Angeles, at Largo at the Coronet. Joining Shearer and Owen will be special guests Rebecca Corry, Godfrey Daniels, Amy Engelhardt, Julia Fordham, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Doña Oxford, Schoolcraft and Murray, and Fred Willard. The house band features musical director CJ Vanston will lead Joe Pusateri on percussion, Leland Sklar on bass, Michael Thompson on guitar, plus surprise musicians.

This show will benefit My Friend's Place, an LA-based charity that assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives.

Two more shows will follow on  Thursday, December 22, and Friday, December 23, in New orleans at Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré.

A reverent and irreverent antidote to the most stressful of seasons, each evening includes both invited performers and surprise guests who drop into Shearer and Owen's onstage living room and share a song or a joke to bring the holiday spirit to all. Song selections range from the sentimental ("Winter Wonderland” and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") to the irreverent ("F&*k Christmas” and "Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner”).

Past revelers have included Mario Cantone, Alan Cumming, Donald Fagen, Béla Fleck, Christopher Guest, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Stephen Merchant, Tim Minchin, Paul Shaffer, Martin Short, Richard Thompson, and Weird Al Yankovic, to name but a few.

This Yuletide tradition started in 2005 with a Disney Hall benefit in support of the people of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

All proceeds go to charities, with performances from the 2016 U.S. Tour benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository, My Friend’s Place, Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic & Assistance Foundation.

A throwback to simpler times, this homespun variety show is both festive romp and salve for the soul, serving as a reminder to all that Christmas is a time to be with the ones you love…and sometimes, even family!

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