Bah Humbug! | Piccolo Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Bah Humbug! Recommended Agenda The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 22 2012

Christmas ham I can do without—I'm more of a turkey guy. But I had a great time at this hammy Christmas Carol panto in which a "humbug" is a kind of candy and Tiny Tim is a hooligan. Clownish caricatures of Tim, Scrooge, and company are modeled as much on pop culture as they are on stock characters; the fusion of archetype and old Hollywood in, say, a harlequinized Al Jolson makes for surprisingly deep comedy. The cast grub for laughs with audience participation gambits out of Dora the Explorer and lots of Tonight Show-style one-liners that are always good for a groan. Sure, some songs end a little flat, the slapstick runs out of steam, the show forgets it's a panto halfway through, and none of it has much to do with Dickens. But Bah Humbug! still feels like Christmas because the actors are so giving. —Asher Klein

Price: $10-$25

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