Aimee Mann's Christmas Show for People Who Don't Really Like Christmas
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John Stewart Morgan Murphy, Aimee Mann, Nellie McKay, and Jackson Brown in 2009
The annual Aimee Mann Christmas spectacular is becoming a venerable Los Angeles holiday tradition. Now in its fifth year, it's a "Christmas show for people who don't really like Christmas," in Mann's words.
We'd call it a blend of comedy, music, and enough Christmas tunes to get the spirit flowing, but not so many they make you want to gag on your egg nog. We spoke with her about this year's incarnation, happening this Saturday, December 10 at the Wiltern.
In previous years you've done the show on multiple nights at Largo. How does it feel to be in much larger venue?
It is a little intimidating, I must say. There's something about Largo where you feel you can really goof around, and it's fine. It's supposed to be a little goofy anyway. But when people come to the Wiltern, they expect a real show.
It's surprising to hear you say that any show would be intimidating -- you're a seasoned performer.
I think just because it's so different -- it's a variety show. And I always wonder, "Do I have enough variety? Should I get some jugglers, or Christmas elves?" Honestly, there's no money for stuff like that, so you have to hope that a handful of comedians and musicians is entertainment enough. If we're lucky we can rent out a couple of Christmas trees. In my mind, [I'd like to have] snow coming down from the ceiling, maybe a Dickensian backdrop, this elaborate, bordering on Sonny-and-Cher '70s music extravaganza. I did have a magician one year, but magic is tough in a bigger place.
So the show is half comedy and half music?
I do have a lot of comics who are going to make an appearance -- Tim Heidecker, Paul F. Tompkins, Michael Penn, Nellie Macay. There'll be some Christmas music, and I'm definitely going to play some non-Christmas music, because I see it as the Christmas show for people who don't really like Christmas. Or people who like some parts of Christmas, but they don't wanna get all "Jingle Bells" about it.