Chicago Theatre Review
Home For the Holidays
Twist Your Dickens – Second City @ Goodman Theatre
Returning for another year of irreverent Dickens-inspired fun, Second City’s creative, slightly bawdy interactive satire features just about every Christmas story imagined. In addition to Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, we’re treated to a stop at the North Pole to visit Santa and his elves, a trip to the Land of Misfit Toys, and some quality time with Charlie Brown and the gang, as well as interludes with other holiday characters.
There’s plenty of hilarious audience participation involved in this sassy seasonal treat. It’s the brainchild of two former writers for TV’s “The Colbert Report,” Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, both accomplished improv artists. Their script, which has been updated from last year, and performed around the world, stars the famous penny-pinching curmudgeon, as well as the rest of the characters from Charles Dickens’ holiday classic. The talented cast stars Ron West, who also serves as director, in the role of Scrooge. Chicago actor Greg Matthew Anderson is an animated Bob Cratchit, among other characters. Jacob Marley, and several other characters, is portrayed by a spirited Joe Dempsey. He’s particularly funny, cloaked in paper chains created by audience members that sport their own admissions to “the worst thing they’ve ever done.” These confessions pop up regularly, serving as dialogue for the actors at the most unexpected times.
Joel Boyd is a sprightly Ghost of Christmas Past, and others, including an audience member who continually interrupts the show with objections and suggestions. Carisa Barreca becomes a boozy, floozie of a party girl Ghost of Christmas Present, and many other funny characters. Katie Caussin is a lovely Mrs. Cratchit, an athletic nun and several other personalities. And pretty, petite Sarah Dell’Amico plays a sassy little Tiny Tim, among other roles.
Offering an alternative version of A Christmas Carol to Goodman audiences, and bringing this hilarious show back home for holidays, Second City’s production is light, funny and festive. It’s an irreverent and interactive improv show that’s sure to stuff everyone’s stocking full of cheer.
Reviewed by Colin Douglas
Presented December 8-31 by The Second City at the Goodman’s Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago.
Tickets are available in person at the box office, by calling 312-443-3800 or by going to www.GoodmanTheatre.org/Twist.
Additional information about this and other fine area productions can be found by visiting www.theatreinchicago.com