We Three Lizas

 

a holiday benderabout face theatre

a darkly sparky musical

Book & lyrics by Scott Bradley

Music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler

Directed by Scott Ferguson

Choreography by Patrick Andrews

Music direction by Aaron Benham

Produced by About Face Theatre

At Stage 773, Chicago

The 3 Liza’s are back with a new book and loads of pizzazz

We Three Lizas, last years campy gay holiday hit musical, is a rollicking fun spunky parody of traditional Christmas tales such as A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life – from a gay perspective. This is a clever, camp, carousing  100 minute gay-infused parody of all things Christmas. It is hilarious, well-staged, and nicely sung musical featuring a super-gay middle aged man in need of redemption.

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Yes, three versions of Liza Minnelli fuel Conrad Ticklebottom’s (Scott Duff) redemption or make-over as we see his story unfold that would make Ebenezer Scrooge cringe. Gone are the days when Conrad’s purple box ignited a fashion movement. With the help of the three witches from Macbeth and the three Lizas, Conrad’s story teaches us that we need “Christmas Every Day” and literally we should  “Give It A Christmas Goose” as the ideal way to celebrate the holidays.

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Scott Bradley and Alan Schmuckler’s music and lyrics are tuneful, bunchy and hilarious. They capture the mood and tone of all the items being parodied including the Fossee-inspired 70’s Liza with a Z and the later Liza concert act.  Danielle Plisz, as Liza Was, dressed in her signature red captures the goofiness of Liza while Mark David Kaplan, in full drag , is Liza Is, the ‘old’ Liza while Bethany Thomas, as Liza Always, is a hoot as the fog-horn voiced Liza. These three are terrific also as the witches. They, with the help of two ‘pretty boys,’ John Francisco and Andrew Swan, round out the cast that gets Conrad to find his way. His loyal assistant, Reggie, the terrific Dana Tretta, in full drag steals the show.

about face theatre

We see a funny, slick, fast paced musical filled with manic performances, especially from the wacky Scott Duff and his nerdy assistant played with empathy by Dana Tratta.  Danielle Plisz’s Liza Was is the hit character played winningly as was Mark David Kaplan’s over-the-top Liza Is.

This is a cute, campy parody rich in inside gay humor that necessitates a liking of Liza Minnellis as well as camp parody. It is a fun alternate to all those sweet holiday shows.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2013

For more info checkout the We Three Lizas page at theatreinchicago.com

At Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL, call 773-327-5252, www.aboutfacetheatre.com, tickets $45, with $20 students tickets, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm,Saturdays at 3 & 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 100 minutes without intermission, through January 5, 2014

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