a holiday bender
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.
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.
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.
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.
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