(With apologies to Pushkin, Roger Angell, & Dr. Dre)
Greetings, Friends! Let's all shout hooray
For the glory of verse: let's get underway!
Let's all agree to begin the climb
And trudge right up the mountain of rhyme
Oui, chers amis, the time is here
To raise some Veuve to the value of veneer
The day is nigh, so off we go
Ignoring cold and vertigo
Puddings, plums, and candies, gorge!
In honor of director George
Sparkle, brilliance, verve, and flair
Who has more of them than Guare?
Christmas bliss for Senfuab Stoney
Equal joy, D. Emerson Toney!
Paste bright ribbons on that box
And hand it to Ms. Veanne Cox!
Spirits of the season, dwell
Inside the soul of Nick Mennell
(And since this rhyme scheme is so swell
Let's use it twice: bonjour, Marcell!)
Lustily sing for ole Thom Jeff
McMartin, too? Damn straight, sho' neff!
Will Rosal, Justina think it odd?
To stay in English? Feliz Navidad!
White-bearded folk: geezers, codgers
Say "Ho, Ho" to our Mister Rogers
Esau Pritchett, Postell Pringle
Spark belly laughs for fat Kris Kringle!
Bump the chest and dap a fist
With further types upon our list
I'm talkin' 'bout adept Lynn Bowling
He can get the party rolling
Jules and Peggy; the stagehands, too
They prime the place, so shriek: woo-hoo!
David Rockwell's game is tight
His set could spark an angel's flight
On Peter Bartlett, drop a gift
On Arnie, also, and let's be swift!
Now, Stanton, now Stetson! Now Prancer and Vixen!
Now, Reddy! Now Stigler! On, Donder and Blitzen!
Sound man Stauffer: cannons must squall!
For Napoleon known as Sandoval
Ababio, Parris, what's their story?
Same as Jeanine's: covered with glory!
Give me credit, I'm not chary
Of spreading praise on Nicole Beharie
And understudies! Let's linger a while
With Howard, Ashley, the Davids, Kyle
Stephanie DiMaggio's mighty joltin'
On New Year's Eve may her sounds be molten!
And what's that noise? Do I hear a 'hark'?
For Gwendolyn Gilliam and choreo Clarke?
I'm almost done, I'll quaff some grog
And toss more tinsel on this blog
For Sara Gettelfinger, deck the hall
And save some glitter for Lewis (Paul)
New Orleans is French, so what the hell?
To Derric Harris, Joyeux Noel!
Should Santa save his top reward
For costume wizard Ann Hould-Ward?
I fervently hope the gods bestir
A Mos-flavored fanfare on Cupidon Murmur
Huntley and Hecht, Bertolacci, and Schall:
Now dash away, dash away, dash away, all!
My rhyme's running dry, my end draws near
But not before wishing: A Happy New Year!
What's that, you say? There's been an omission?
Injustice is rife: convene a commission!
The slight's so egregious, What interruption is this?
My verse has been hijacked by the Free Man, such bliss!
"How dare you conclude your Lemon-y letter
By failing to trumpet your poetical better?
The holiday spirits will never alight
Without glory bespattered on bold Jeffrey Wright!
His name's been hosanna'd, I now mute my horn
And wish you and yours a most bless'd Christmas morn.
All friends of 'Free Man': live many a day!
Dashingly yours, Monsieur Jacques ('Jack') Cornet"
Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of lemonwade.com.