Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Mondays. Continues through Jan. 4 2010

You don't want to get on Jackie Hoffman's bad side, but there doesn't seem to be any alternative. In town to play Grandma in The Addams Family, the former Second City ensemble member is performing this one-woman-and-an-amiable-goy-pianist show on the side. It's ostensibly about the tribulations of being Jewish during Christmas, but Hoffman immediately branches out to attack pretty much everything and everybody--Jews definitely included. She can be just plain mean, as when she goes through a stack of end-of-the-year charity appeal letters, ripping up missives from the likes of UNICEF. She can also take issues like her inadequate role in The Addams Family beyond the point of amusement. But more often than not, her apparently complete lack of social filters is exhilarating. She reminds me of those blue comediennes who used to make records for stag parties--especially when she's riffing on talking dirty in front of in-laws. She can be endearingly chauvinistic about the fact that Jews wrote all the good Christmas songs, but she doesn't back down from salting her own people's wounds, either. All in all, it's a gleefully nasty rush. Just one thing: be sure to turn off your cell phone. If it rings during her show, she'll rip you a new one. --Tony Adler

Price: $25

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