Washington's reputation as a city without adequate satirical representation has not, unfortunately, been challenged by the latest offering, "A Bonzo Christmas Carol," playing at d.c. space through Jan. 16. A joint effort of Video Buddies Comedy and the Source Theater Co., it is enlightened only by a superb imitation of President Reagan by Don Williams.
The conceit is that Reagan is Scrooge ("cut the school lunch program completely," he orders) and is played by Williams as a genial but dimwitted goof with marionettelike movements. The Ghost of Marley is Richard Nixon, played by John Simmons in one of his numerous incarnations. Simmons plays several parts and has written, directed and produced the evening, distinguishing his different roles by changing his middle initial, as in John P. Simmons, John X. Simmons, etc. That is about the level of humor the show delivers.
The problem is not just that the jokes aren't funny, but that the performance lacks smoothness, scenes end in blackouts rather than conclusions, and the interjection of a cast of administration characters -- Haig, Stockman, Watt, the voices of Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra -- is distracting.
A BONZO CHRISTMAS CAROL, presented by Video Buddies Comedy in Association with the Source Theater, written and directed by John D. Simmons, with Don Williams, Mike Heintzman, Matthew Dubois, Bart Whiteman, Biff Bentley. With Robert Fass, Lorin Devers, Kim Merrill, Vanessa Stout, Bruce Tobin, Jackie Guzda and Julie Parent.