Kristin Campbell-Taylor created “The Janky Christmas Show” seven years ago. She has performed every role in “The Nutcracker” since she was 5.
“I did it for 12 years,” Campbell-Taylor said. “It became this tradition that my family was a part of. It created my love for performing and dance that I still have.”
The Bakersfield native was driving back to Los Angeles from her Thanksgiving meal with her family when “The Nutcracker” came on the radio.
It was in that moment that Campbell-Taylor decided that she would make her own Christmas show. She immediately called Michael Dunn and the managing director of the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.
Campbell-Taylor offered Dunn the role of Pink Santa in the show.
“I gathered my friends together and we wrote some sketches,” Campbell-Taylor said. “We called it Janky because we just made it happen. We called it the first annual as a joke and now here we are seven years later.”
Campbell-Taylor has attracted a Hollywood actor to participate in her show.
Actor John C. Reilly saw the third annual Janky Christmas Show and he was interested in being a part of it. Reilly has a connection to the theater.
“John’s children attend school with Jessica’s children,” Campbell-Taylor said. “Jessica is the managing director of the Bootleg Theater. John has hosted the show and sung a few songs. It’s a live show, which means anything can happen.”
This year Reilly will be guest starring in a couple of numbers.
“We are lucky to have him,” Campbell-Taylor added.
Each year, “The Janky Christmas Show” does a different story.
This year’s theme is Janky’s spin on “A Christmas Carol.”
“Pink Santa doesn’t believe in Christmas because of the horrible year that we have had,” Campbell-Taylor said. “The wildfires, the election and all the terribleness that has happened makes Pink Santa not want to celebrate Christmas this year.
He is visited by three ghosts who show Pink Santa what Janky was like in the past, present and will be in the future if he stops having love in his heart. Pink Santa wakes up to realize that he has not missed it and it is not too late to celebrate it. Michael Dunn is the lost soul playing Pink Santa.”
Campbell-Taylor explains what the Janky Christmas show was created for.
“It is for people in Los Angeles who want to celebrate Christmas,” Campbell-Taylor said. “Christmas is usually a kid-centric holiday or it’s tied to religion.
“I don’t prescribe to a religion so I wanted to create a show that is about a beautiful holiday and a time for you to take stock of what is important in your life and the people you surround yourself with. To me, the holiday is about friendship, love, support and celebrating the little things and not harping on the negative.
Campbell-Taylor wants the Janky show to give adults magical moments.
“Adults don’t get magical moments anymore,” she added. “Christmas is magical.”
Magic and kindness is what Campbell-Taylor is hoping from a Janky Christmas.
“It is easy to forget to be nice and kind to people,” Campbell-Taylor said. “We have to remember that what we say and do does affect other people. It’s easy to be weighed down by the darkness and the constant news about sad things can make you feel overwhelmed.
“When I was watching the Las Vegas shooting, it made me really sad. We don’t live in a free county right now because anywhere you go you could have someone kill you for no reason. I find that to be intense and hard to live with. It is hard to believe in humanity when all that is going on.”
Check out “The Janky Christmas Show” at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23 with an additional performance at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 23.
Be yourself. I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.