The Year Without a Santa Claus | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Year Without a Santa Claus 

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The title of this 1974 Rankin/Bass animated Christmas special may not ring a bell--but the song "Heat Miser" probably will. Adapter Jason Chin, who also directs, pulls in non-ComedySportz actors, which gives vitality and sparkle to this story about a grumpy Santa who wants to cancel Christmas because he has a cold. Shannon Strodel is a dynamo as the narrating Mrs. Claus; her warm, fluid voice draws in the all-ages audience right from the start. Matt Griffo and Jeannie Cahill as the brother-sister duo of Snow Miser and Heat Miser add a pinch of jazzy camp. And Gillian Bellinger is wonderful as the child who convinces Santa he's loved and needed after all. Through 12/21: Wed 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, ComedySportz, 2851 N. Halsted, 773-549-8080, $10.

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