The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular | Mary's Attic Theatre | Theater & Performance, Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader
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Ed Jones as Rip Nelson

Ed Jones as Rip Nelson

Rick Aguilar Studios

The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular 

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 30 2016
Price: $28-$50
handbagproductions.org
Hell in a Handbag leans hard on its tried-and-true camp tropes in this drag parody of an early-80s variety show. A recovering alcoholic television host gets a second chance at glory a decade or so too late when he scores his former rival's time slot. Steve Love's production of David Cerda's comedy makes solid use of a vocally formidable ensemble in frequent, often unironic musical numbers. It's more questionable whether the jokes built on vintage celebrities are enough to sustain the rest for an hour and half—the erstwhile Bruce Jenner is the target of some particularly groan-worthy material—but David Lipschutz's off-kilter, hilariously sinister turn as magician Doug Henning is hilarious every moment he's onstage. —Dan Jakes

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