A Cabin Christmas

Introducing Fruit Cocktail

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you happen to find yourself at the Cabin Tavern at 7pm Sun., Dec. 17 for “A Cabin Christmas,” you will be treated to, among other things, a performance by Fruit Cocktail, a dynamic duo that bears a striking resemblance to Jeff and Patti Braimes, musicians and longtime pillars of this fine community. Do not be fooled, however. The people you see before you are Frank Breech and Mona Hart, and they are the entertainment sensation you didn’t know you were looking for but have been aching to find—as long as you get to the Cabin early because Fruit Cocktail is no late-night lounge act or after-hours distraction for the drunk and weary.

Now that I’ve clarified what Fruit Cocktail is not, it might be helpful to know exactly what to expect. Since Breech and Hart are more than capable of speaking for themselves, I should probably allow them to do just that.

Cascadia Weekly: What is Fruit Cocktail?

Fruit Cocktail: Fruit Cocktail is Frank Breech and Mona Hart, a husband/wife musical duo. Many say their best years are behind them, but the performers remain blissfully unaware. It’s performance art, except for the art part. It’s an act, but not exactly lounge. It’s not really a band—more like a variety show. Kind of like the Gong Show with fruit instead of the gong. And cocktails.

Frank and Mona have been goofing around with this thing since their kids were born in the last century. They used to take turns going out, but found themselves housebound a lot. Fruit Cocktail started as a Friday-night hobby that was free and didn’t bother anyone except for the occasional neighbor who would knock when the “rehearsals” went too late or loud. When the kids finally left home, Frank and Mona started having some friends over for piano bar night, which eventually gave way to last summer’s Braimesworld Silver Cloud Piano Lounge and Juice Emporium as part of the Sunnyland Stomp. Lots of friends also performed and it was a great day. Probably the best backyard piano lounge and juice party of all times.

CW: What makes your performances special?

FC: For starters, we don’t do any original material. Only songs from the past that people love (even if they would never admit it). We don’t do songs that we don’t love. So even though it’s schmaltzy and often undignified, it is not ironic. You could call it inironic. Also frequently moronic.

There are bubbles, pratfalls, real fire and also fuckin’ magic.

And the songs and the sets are short. No one wants to hear a six-minute version of “Just the Way You Are.” But most people secretly enjoy a 90-second version. Fruit Cocktail carves up the classics with surgical precision. Plus it’s hard to have a solo break when you only have one instrument.

CW: What does a “Cabin Christmas” look like?

FC: The Cabin is such a perfect Fruit Cocktail bar. It’s cozy and funny and the drinks are not too metro fancypants. Just fancy enough. [Owner Christian Danielson] and his people have made it a really cool and welcoming place.

There will be festive decor and food and drink specials. There will be door prizes and surprises. Probably some vulgarity. Laughs if you want ’em and a general release of the stress and anxiety of the holidays. There will be some commemorative merch for sale, all the proceeds from which will go to Lydia Place.

The evening will be cohosted by local smart aleck comedian guy Marmaduke Cadwallader Jacobs and his untrustworthy sidekick the CornNut Lady from the Juice Emporium.

Lots of performers think you have to play Christmas songs at a Christmas show. So not so! You’d think that people would have had enough of silly Christmas songs. Just because you wear red sequins and white fur and rim the stage with barbed-wire holly and poisonous mistletoe and colored lights and invite the real Santa Claus and have festive holiday food and drink specials doesn’t mean it’s an all-Christmas show. Not by any stretch! Plus we’re not playing all Christmas songs. Some people might say later “they didn’t play any Christmas songs. It was a total rip-off.”

Which is funny because it’s free.

CW: Ideal Fruit Cocktail Christmas?

FC: There’d be a peaceful, easy feeling. Mimosas in the morning, Marys at noon. New pink slippers with a little heel for her, a new smoking jacket for him. Later we’d watch A Charlie Brown Christmas a few times and also Elf. Carols around the piano, Peace on Earth for heaven’s sake. Pretty much just like anyone else.

More Music...
Light shows and mistletoe
A Christmas state of mind

So far this holiday season, I have decked no halls, I have trimmed zero trees, all of my bells remain unjingled, and I have engaged in no reindeer games.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say that because of life or existential angst or whatever that I’m not feeling the Christmas…

more »
Joshua Davis
To be real

I’m sure this comes as a shock to no one, but I’ve been known to watch some reality television. And not just whatever passes as acceptable examples of the genre—I’ll even watch those shows that seem to exist solely so that grown women can earn a living by screaming and flinging drinks…

more »
Happy Thanksgiving
Make it a weekend to remember

The weekend following Thanksgiving is good for a lot of things: shopping, decorating for the holidays, making wish lists, baking cookies, etc.

It is typically not great for local music, and understandably so. In fact, I have been known to refer to the post-Thanksgiving weekend as an…

more »
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Winter Art Camps

10:00am|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Cross-Country Skiing Basics


VB Reads

7:00pm|Village Books


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

Village Books
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Bread and Philanthropy

8:00am|Avenue Bread

Bellingham Mysterians

4:00pm|Village Books

Upcycled Wrapping

5:30pm|North Fork Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Ski and Snowboard Tuning Basics


Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Amahl and the Night Visitors

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A calamitous Christmas


Ladies of Shred

7:00pm|Aslan Brewing Co.

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic


Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|4145 Meridian St.

Santa's in Town

10:00am|Yeager's Toyland

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Pizza Class

3:00pm|Appel Farms

The Lights of Christmas

5:00pm|Warm Beach Camp

Kids and Cookies

5:30pm|Ferndale High School

Christmas in Japan

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Holiday Soup Potluck

6:00pm|Sumas Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Community Sing-Along

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Blue Christmas

7:00pm|First Congregational Church of Bellingham

The Wizard of Oz

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Saul Cline Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Scottish Dancing

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

see our complete calendar »

Wizard Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Setzer Village Books Bellingham Farmer’s Market