Roasting Chestnuts: Oy! It's Christmas | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Roasting Chestnuts: Oy! It's Christmas



There's an added spark this year to the core material in the Noble Fools' holiday revue spoofing star-driven specials. At the show's center is Patricia Musker as smarmy big shot Gina Oswald: whenever the indefatigable Gina sings, Musker's mugging and tics milk every note for hilarity. The chorus--the eight Zeitgeist Family Singers--now have well-developed individual personalities, and their dancing is sillier than ever (kudos to choreographer Mark Goldwebber). The return of Anti-Clause and his cigar-chomping elf Chico is comically crass, and Mick Houlahan's bang-on ode to the Grinch should make anyone's Christmas. The only weak bits are the new sketches, performed almost exclusively by Jack Bronis and Mark M. Czoske as the off-color Catskills comedians who gave Gina her first big break: their borscht belt jokes just can't compete with parodic performances by the lively Zeitgeists and always sparkling Gina. Noble Fool Theater Company, 16 W. Randolph, 312-726-1156. Through December 29: Wednesdays-Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 4:30 and 8:30 PM; Sundays, 3 PM; Thursday, December 26, 1 and 8 PM; Friday, December 27, 2 and 8 PM; no show Wednesday, December 25. $32-$36.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →