Thursday, January 01, 2015

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of January 3, 2015

As always, the choices are purely my personal opinion. Take with a grain (or a shaker) of salt.

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New This Week:

Joe Hanrahan
The Midnight Company presents Joe Hanrahan in Eric Bogosian's one-man play Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll Friday through Sunday, January 2-4. "Bogosian's solo shows, which also include DRINKING IN AMERICA, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE and POUNDING NAILS IN THE FLOOR WITH MY FOREHEAD, are scorching social commentaries on the urban and suburban scene - presenting portraits of contemporary men, from the homeless to possession-crazed millionaires to fading rock stars - “scabrously funny ” (Boston Phoenix) and “combustibly funny” (Newsday) monologues exposing their hidden fears, hypocrisy and rage." The performances take place at Herbie's Vintage 72, 405 N. Euclid in the Central West End. A special pre/post-theatre menu will be available before or after the show, cocktails will be available for the performance, and live music will follow Sunday performances. For more information:

My take: This is a return engagement of the one-man show first presented at Herbie's last August. Reviewing that original performance for KDHX, Tina Farmer wrote that star Joe Hanrahan "expertly fills the space with rundown, but blissfully hopeful, characters...achel Tibbett's firm, straightforward direction is clearly evident; when combined with Joe's continuous exploration of character this is a good -- potentially great - pairing." The Midnight Company has mostly been a showcase for Joe Hanrahan's solo efforts in recent years; happily, Joe is an experienced actor who has the chops to command a space all by himself.

Held Over:

A Christmas Story: the Musical
The Fox Theatre presents A Christmas Story: the Musical December 16 - January 4. "Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas; An Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A CHRISTMAS STORY, The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie's desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. This new Broadway musical is based on the classic 1983 movie, which itself was based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd. With songs both funny and heartfelt by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette, A CHRISTMAS STORY captures holiday wonder with such deliciously wicked wit that it is sure to delight children and grown-ups alike. It's the Christmas present that you'll cherish all holiday long." The Fox is at 527 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information,

My take: The film on which this musical is based has always been a favorite of mine, as is the autobiographical Jean Shepherd novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," that was the basis for the movie. I'm happy to see that it has apparently survived the transition to the musical stage with its heart and soul intact. In her review for KDHX, Tina Farmer says the show is "a rollicking, song-filled ride...The show succeeds on so many levels and the cast delivers an engaging, heartwarming tale that leaves the audience smiling." Malcom Gay at the Riverfront Times concurs; "as Ralphie unpacks that final present," he writes, "this heartwarming show reveals itself as the gift that it is."

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