Jonathan waxes Scrooge-like about holiday offerings while Kelly takes her inner child out for an excursion. Grab your insulin and dive in!
Kay Kron (Tara) and Rob Fenton (Robbie) in Haven Theatre Company’s production of Hot Georgia Sunday. (Photo by Dean LaPrairie.)
Hot Georgia Sunday, Haven Theatre Company at the Den
Hot Georgia Sunday tells its story of love and faith in a Georgia town through a series of interwoven monologues as funny as they are genuine. Any mention of “love and faith” suggests a treacly sort of religiosity, but what playwright Catherine Trieschmann gives us is something quite different: a portrait of hardscrabble people doing their profane best to get from day to day. Trieschmann writes with equal parts wit and sensitivity, and director Marti Lyons makes sure every line gets its due. A superb ensemble of six makes you laugh at them and with them all at the same time. This is a Chicago premiere; I want someone to find Trieschman’s next play now so it can have its world premiere here. She is going to be a big star.
Q Brothers’ A Christmas Carol at Chicago Shakespeare
And speaking of profane, the Q Brothers’ hip-hop contemporary musical rendition of A Christmas Carol is likewise free of sugarplums and treacle, but filled with genuine (dare I say it?) Christmas spirit. As Scrooge, whose bah-humbug is here rendered “Christ-my-ass-mas!,” goes through the past, present and future, the brothers and their company ring every possible change on the familiar tale: the two philanthropists whom our anti-hero rejects wear yarmulkes and are named Rahm and Ari; Tiny Tim has an unbelievable array of illnesses (“Now I have gout. In my ear.”); and the ghost of Marley turns out to be Bob Marley, or as the ghost puts it, “My own personal hell.” The show is a blast, as clever and still as true to the original as the Brothers’ versions of Shakespeare. See it when you’re feeling most cynical about the holiday—its rhymes and rhythms will perk you right up.