Thursday, December 8, 2011

The latest Reader performing arts reviews

Posted By on 12.08.11 at 11:00 AM

The Word Progress on My Mothers Lips Doesnt Ring True
The holiday show onslaught continues. We've reviewed another eight of them for the December 8 issue—nine, if you count the Reader-recommended Talk About God: Five Cents, a collection of monologues penned by Tom Noe in which various characters discuss their "experiences or opinions relating to the Almighty." The range of what constitutes a holiday show has widened a bit this time around to include the subversive (Hell in a Handbag's Reader-recommended Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer), the enthusiastically tasteless (blow-job-joke-heavy sketch revue Let It Ho!), and the just plain Jewish (Hannukatz: The Musical).

The others are iO's Joy!, the Waltzing Mechanics's El Stories: Holiday Train, BoHo Theatre Ensemble's annual Striking 12 (in which the holiday referenced is New Year's eve), American Theater Company's Reader-recommended version of It's a Wonderful Life, and Kerry Reid's pick: Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs 'A Christmas Carol' Again. The title of Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas may suggest a holiday show, but it's actually about a theater critic who falls in with a band of vampires. Ho ho ho.

Back in the secular world, there are reviews of Remy Bumppo's Changes of Heart, Teatro Luna's Reader-recommended Crossed, and Winterfall Chicago's Far Away (which I'm so, so close to recommending despite a flawed production, on the grounds that the play is extraordinary and the staging is at least competent; definitely see it—this weekend—if you appreciate Caryl Churchill). Justin Hayford went so head-over-heels for Trap Door's The Word Progress on My Mother's Lips Doesn't Ring True that we're highlighting it in the new issue. Meanwhile, I went long but ambivalent on the Griffin Theatre production of Spring Awakening.

Finally, it's a good week for dance. Laura Molzahn recommends new shows from Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and the Humans.

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