SnowGirls puts the X back in Xmas | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

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SnowGirls puts the X back in Xmas

Hell in a Handbag delivers another naughty holiday parody.


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The winter holidays invariably unleash a blizzard of Christmas-themed productions that range from the sentimental to the satiric. Hell in a Handbag Productions' new show SnowGirls fits in the latter camp—and I do mean camp. With a book by Derek Van Barham and songs by David Cerda with Scott Lamberty and Jeff Thomson, this rude, raunchy, and funny burlesque of the 1995 Paul Verhoeven movie Showgirls is definitely more naughty than nice.

Following fairly faithfully the plot of Joe Eszterhas's original screenplay, SnowGirls concerns a runaway reindeer, Snowmi Malone (Harper Leander), who hitchhikes to the North Pole in hopes of becoming a star in Santa's kingdom. "I'm a dancer, not a whore!" she insists to anyone who'll listen, as—with the aid of her costume-designer pal Jolly (Brittani Yawn)—she works her way up from (what else) Pole dancer to star of a nightclub revue. Along the way she becomes ensnared in a triangular relationship with sultry bisexual showgirl Ice Crystal Conners (Sydney Genco) and her pointy-eared elf playmate Zip (Grant Drager) and makes friends with Mrs. Claus (Erin Daly), the disenchanted wife of sleazy Santa (Terry McCarthy).

Directed and choreographed by Jon Martinez, SnowGirls boasts crisply timed physical humor, plentiful sight gags, and an onslaught of seasonal double entendres about "coming down the chimney" and stockings being "hung" whose obviousness is part of their rowdy charm. But the aggressive, sexy dancing is no joke. SnowGirls puts the X back in Xmas.   v

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