An audience suggestion that its noir mystery be set around Christmas-tree decorating sent the Parking Lots Improv production on the trail of a killer Grinch.
The rumpled, hard-boiled character who looks like a detective is actually Jack, a small town’s chief Christmas-tree decorator who nevertheless solves the double-murder. ’Tis the season to off Donny, a lowly but eager-to-please town worker who erects the tree and loves to build snowmen. He is discovered dead with a carrot shoved in his eye. The suspect list for police chief Blake, is headed by himself, a noted Christmas-phobe, Richard, the owner of a failing gift-wrap store and the femme fatale Julie, a civic booster who has managed to entice Martha Stewart to come and make the town famous.
So the five ad-libbers thicken their plot with character walk-bys, during which details are announced and are built upon by those that follow. Their hour-long storytelling was pleasantly entertaining as they attempted to make the most of the holiday theme. Colin Ward as the humourless chief made a strong impression; so did Jesse Bergen as the trench-coated, tough-talking Jack, and Caitlin Curtis playing the shady woman in red.
— Kevin Prokosh