Photos by Shaun Krisher. Full Gallery at the end of the review.
With Christmas fast approaching, many people are getting into the holiday spirit. Some are foraging their respective towns for Christmas gifts while others are gathering with family around eggnog and long awaited conversations. As a nice break from the normal buzz of the season, Puddles Pity Party came to the lovely Fox Theater to do Puddles’ first official holiday show titled Puddles Pity Party & Friends Holiday Jubilee.
Exactly a week before Christmas, the show included Puddles in his usual mystique with a slew of special guests ranging from national celebrities to local business owners. Additionally, this show was the first time Puddles headlined at the Fox, which was very deserving after being an Atlanta resident since 1995. The venue was packed out with all sorts of people in attendance, from people with tattoo sleeves to people in their Sunday best, and this diversity was a true testament to the talent behind the clown makeup as his golden voice appeals to all.
The set for the show was designed to look like a clearing in a wintry forest, with two large snow-covered trees towering on either side of the stage. To the right was a single doorway, and to the left was a red, lone couch with various prop instruments placed about it. Above this odd snowy scene was a screen with a looped video of the northern lights, which added a trippy vibe to the atmosphere that seemed naturally appropriate for a Puddles show.
At the start of the show, Puddles appeared from the doorway onstage and was immediately received with a roaring round of applause. He placed his iconic suitcase with the words “Puddles Pity Party” on the stage and went right into his first song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, a very appropriate choice for the longtime friend of the city. From here, the show had a mix of media, short sketches, and celebrity appearances all centered around the Christmas tunes sung by Puddle. On the screen above there were short home movies of Christmas gatherings, some cartoony bits both made by Puddles and taken from old shows, and even random “video calls” from celebrities including Howie Mandel and Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Between songs there were live guest appearances, including the owners of King of Pops and Dancing Goats Coffee, and there were even some guests that joined in for some songs, including Santa, Krampus, and opera singer Heather Witt who did a duet with Puddles for the song “What Child Is This?” Every guest that came for the show, either via “video calls” or in person, brought Puddles a gift of the DVD of Waterworld featuring Puddles’ favorite actor Kevin Costner. This was a running gag the entire evening, which was well received by the crowd with non stop laughter. On top of this, Puddles had some of the audience involved in his performance, with an invited group that came up to decorate a prop Christmas tree and others that got an intimate seat on Puddles lap for some songs.
At one point when he came out into the crowd, Puddles started grabbing phones from people and giving them to someone else in a comical bit with the message to enjoy the moment without needing a phone camera. This was a treat to see and was well received by the crowd with the phones being exchanged back immediately after Puddles returned to the stage.
Later in the set, there was even a sing-a-long with Puddles, Krampus, and Mighty Mo played by the organist for the Atlanta Braves. For those out of the loop, Might Mo is the organ found at the Fox Theater and is the second largest of its kind in the world. It was awesome experiencing the entire theater joining together singing “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells” along with Mighty Mo.
This was only a glimpse into the first holiday show put on by our very own Puddles. It was a true spectacle to behold, and I hope that this is just the first holiday show and not the one and only one to happen. If you are looking for some Puddles to add to your holiday season, check out his new Christmas CD, Puddles Pity Party Holiday Jubilee, which contains songs from his Christmas show, including his new song “What Will Santa Clause Say?”.
Gallery – Puddles’ Pity Party at The Fox Theatre, December 18, 2018