Twist Your Dickens or Scrooge You!

By Peter Gwinn & Bobby MortTWIST-YOUR-DICKENS-OR-SCROOGE-YOU-poster

Directed by Matt Hovde

The Second City & The Goodman Theatre

At the Goodman Theatre’s Owen Theatre

Laughs abound as Scrooge get his due

Leave it to The Second City and the smarts of the Goodman Theatre to open a spoof of A Christmas Carol down the hall from the Goodman’s magnificent annual production of the Dickens’ classic. Move over Larry Yando –  Francis Guinan is your rival as Scrooge. LOL! Comic writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort have penned a smart, hilarious and rambunctious spoof of A Christmas Carol. Together with veteran Second City players – Frank Caeti, Peter Gwinn, Sayjal Joshi, and Beth Melewski, and a celebrity cameo (on opening night Ricky Bayless), Scrooge You becomes a two hour comic retelling that just may get you laughing throughout the holidays. 

Francis-Guinan-Scrooge-and-Tim-Stoltenberg-Bob-Cratchit-in-The-Second-City’s-Twist-Your-Dickens-Or-Scrooge-You-by-Peter-Gwinn-and-Bobby-Mort-at-Goodman-Theatre.

The Second City’s twist on Dickens has sprinkles of accuracy, with a few comic zingers added with appearances by George Bailey, Charlie Brown, and hecklers from the audience to add to the fun. The audience also has their say in several skits as well as pre-show written comments from the audience on the worst thing you ever did. The wild and crazy antics geared in the spirit of A Christmas Carol quickly became a whirlwind of clever humor. Act one was especially funny and act two unfolded as a bit stale – kind of like a guest who comes to your place for dinner and stays until the wee hours.  At two hours, Scrooge You! is a bit too long–90 minutes would work best.

Beth-Melewski-Sayjal-Joshi-and-Peter-Gwinn-in-The-Second-City’s-Twist-Your-Dickens-Or-Scrooge-You-at-Goodman-Theatre-–-photo-by-Liz-Lauren.

Yet, the cleverness and the spot-on performances led by the genius of Francis Guinan and his six cast members was enough to make the Scrooge in you smile, even belly laugh! Once you have seen the main production of A Christmas Carol, come back and see the wildly funny Second City version. Both productions are marvelously entertaining. Scrooge You! may become a tradition like the classic production playing down the hall at the Goodman Theatre.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2014

For more info checkout the Twist Your Dickens page at theatreinchicago.com

At the Goodman theatre’s Owen stage, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago, IL, call 312-443-3800, www.goodmantheatre.org, tickets $20 on up. through January 3, 2015