Thursday, December 24, 2015

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of December 24, 2015

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

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Nothing new, as this is Christmas week. So happy theatre holidays to all!

Held Over:

The Monocle Varieté presents Holi-Dazzle Done Fridays and Saturdays at 9 and 11 p.m., through December 27. "Holi-Dazzle is the avant-retro variety show that will help you make it through the season that's not all fun and good cheer. Isn't it just sometimes weird, and a little crazy? And not dazzling in the right way? Get your holiday cure right here on our stage." This ninety-minute comedy show will have you rolling in the aisles with the bawdy humor of the late Joan Rivers." The performance takes place in the Emerald Room at The Monocle, 4510 Manchester in the Grove neighborhood. For more information:

My take: Looking for something a bit more adult in terms of holiday fun? The Monocle has just the thing for you. In her review for KDHX, Tina Farmer says the show "puts a little spice into the season with a festive evening of fun among friends...The Emerald Room at The Monocle is an intimate space, with audience members seated around tables just a few feet from the stage. The close proximity makes the venue a perfect setting for a cabaret that references the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood and New York supper clubs with a touch of vaudeville."

Photo: Joan Marcus
The Fox Theatre presents the musical Wicked, based on the novel by Gregory McGuire, running through January 3. "Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for 'the most complete - and completely satisfying - musical in a long time' (USA Today)." The Fox Theatre is at 517 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information, or call 314-534-1678.

My take: I haven't seen this particular tour, but in my review of the 2005 tour I noted that composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and book author Winnie Holtzman have done a remarkable job of simplifying and reducing the story of Gregory McGuire's original novel while still remaining true to the original characters and their relationships. The score is one of Schwartz's best, and that's saying something.

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