Songs of the Season | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Songs of the Season

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For Yuletide junkies still craving seasonal sentiment, this Christmas Eve performance should provide a decent fix: some three dozen musical selections compressed into a prettily sung, briskly paced two-hour revue, with coffee, champagne, and desserts served throughout the evening. Musical director Mark Elliott has unearthed a giant sized stockingful of songs for the likable eight-person cast--classic carols and pop standards like "Silver Bells," "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," but also less familiar fare from such artists as Meredith Willson, Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, Peter Link and Jacob Brackman, Frank Loesser, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Victor Young, Peter "PDQ Bach" Schickele, and the Eagles. Director Joe Huber has arranged the material into amusing vignettes that spoof, but don't seriously challenge, the accumulated Christmas conventions--last-minute shopping, soldiers writing letters to girlfriends at home, kids awaiting the arrival (or questioning the existence) of Santa Claus. There's even the occasional religious reference; but as the song says, this is Santa's big scene. Bailiwick Repertory, December 24. Sunday, 7 PM. $15.

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