A Very Orwellian Christmas Special | Royal George Theatre Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

A Very Orwellian Christmas Special Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 21 2014

There are so many things wrong with this comic send-up of Christmas and Santa Claus it's hard to decide where to begin. Director Katherine Siegel's ensemble tries way too hard to get laughs, telegraphing punch lines, straining themselves with cartoon voices, and burying the comedy in a flurry of strange gestures, weird tics, and eccentric but unfunny physical shtick. Likewise, Jim Trapp's play is unfocused, perhaps because it's gratuitously packed with references both Christmasy (It's a Wonderful Life) and not (H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu). The show does contain some fine performances—Jessica Morrison is amusing as the spirit of Kwanzaa—but not enough to make these two and a half hours from American Demigods palatable. —Jack Helbig

Price: $22

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