By Debbie Hall
The irreverent musical comedy Christmas in Hell features laughs, original songs, and a highly unconventional plot line, making it good-natured fun for the holidays. Christmas in Hell will perform in the Notoriety Renkus Heinz Theater at Notoriety Las Vegas into the New Year through Jan. 15, 2023.
Christmas in Hell begins on Christmas Eve when a young boy is taken down to Hell. He returns a changed boy and discovers he has missed Christmas. His father embarks on an extraordinary musical journey adventure to Hell, where he makes a wager with Lucifer to get his son back and celebrate another Christmas.
Performer and actor Buck Hujabre portrays Lucifer (The Prince of Darkness) as well as other characters.
“I spent most of my career as an understudy and swing, so it was so fun to switch gears so quickly. I have not performed in a production where I portrayed a doctor to a member of the dark brotherhood to become Lucifer. It stretches me as an actor, great cast, fantastic writing, and the show is amazing,” explains Buck.
In fact, this show brought him out of retirement. “Even though I was steadily working, I decided to get out of show business when I married and became a father. Ultimately, I saw my business career as the next step in my life,” he says. “But when my agent called me, I knew this would be the perfect show to perform.”
Buck says that the show’s tagline, “A Christmas story for people who don’t like Christmas stories,” says it all. However, at the end of the show, the heart and soul of the piece are family, love, and joyfulness, but how everyone arrives there is on different tracks. “Other than Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol, who went through his own hell, how many people can say as part of their Christmas story, they got to visit with the devil in Hades?” laughs Buck.
Based in New York City for almost 20 years with frequent stops in Los Angeles, Buck moved to Las Vegas with the international hit Jersey Boys ten years ago and loved it so much he never left. Recent television and film appearances include The Looming Tower on Hulu, the 2017 remake of 12 Angry Men, Price for Freedom, and The Mark (Amazon.) When he is not performing, Buck is a proud small business owner and a commercial and residential real estate broker overseeing $600 million in volume annually. He serves as an instructor for the Nevada Real Estate Division and is a faculty member on the Education Committee for the Las Vegas REALTORS®. In addition, he is nationally recognized as a business development coach specializing in turnarounds for businesses in multiple industries. His practice focus is commercial real estate, and he is passionate about creating generational wealth and ending the poverty cycle thru real estate. For more info about Buck, visit buckhujabre.kw.com.
As for continuing in entertainment, “if the right opportunity came along, I would think about it; my agent and I have an unwritten, unspoken rule that anything that keeps me close to home, I will consider it. I have been fortunate to have a great career, but I have other priorities now.”
The Las Vegas cast includes two New York actors who were in the cast when it first premiered at The New York Fringe Festival in 2015. Christopher Sutton will reprise his role as the father who must journey to Hell to save his son. Carl, the big-hearted bogeyman, will be once again portrayed by Zak Risinger, who has played the role at The Fringe, The New York Musical Festival, and Off-Broadway at The York Theatre.
The musical comedy is written by Gary Apple, whose writing credits include The Simpsons, directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Lorna Ventura and produced by Mostly Musicals, LLC.
Christmas in Hell will be performed in the Notoriety Renkus Heinz Theater at Notoriety Las Vegas, 450 Fremont St., through Jan. 15, 2023. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with showtime at 7 p.m. Guests must be 14 and over. Parking is available underneath Neonopolis, with the entrance located on 4th street on the right side of the road just past Denny’s. Take the parking elevator from the parking garage up to the third floor with Notoriety in view of the elevators. Click here for more info. For more information, visit ChristmasInHell.com. Click here to purchase tickets.