The Hipmas Carol | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Hipmas Carol

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The Hipmas Carol, at the Lakeshore Theater. 'Tis the season for Christmas Carol remounts, each with its own special angle. In this version, first produced last year, adapter-performers Tyler Bohne and Patrick Zielinski tell the tale of "Ebenezer the Geezer" in growling, beatnik-style rhyming jive. Unfortunately their rhymes are tortured and the meter is cringe inducing.

The asides to the audience are occasionally amusing, but Zielinski and Bohne beat us over the head with the warmheartedness of their show, even informing us at the end of its moral: "No matter how crabby someone is, they still have the ability to change." What's missing is lightness or humor--which the original has in abundance, of course. Robert Rial accompanies the story on electric guitar, and his wailing, sighing blues riffs--especially his restless, seeking version of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"--resonate more than anything else in the production.

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