Screw X-mas! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Screw X-mas!, Sweetback Productions and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, at the Cornservatory. At the door, audience members are asked to fill out cards in response to the question "What do you hate about Christmas?" And if the monologues, sketches, and songs comprising Screw X-mas! are any indication, the performers themselves heartily resent the rites imposed on them by friends and relatives.

The bits showing the most potential in this too often underrehearsed pageant are only peripherally related to Christmas. Writer-performer Jackie Wolk gives an account of driving all the way to New England in deference to her mother-in-law's fear of airline terrorists. Jillian Erickson confesses to sexual jealousy at the holiday brunch. And Chris Churchill performs with full-out dormitory-room passion a song entitled "Don't Mess With Baby Jesus."

The bulk of the evening, however, is devoted to predictable "aren't we naughty?" giggles: pedophile toy makers, butt-bumping ballet boys. These are harmless enough, but what leads off the lineup may not be: Marz Timms and Keith Smitherman deliver decidedly offensive caricatures of two African-American preachers.

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