Wednesday January 17th 2018

“Big Red and The Boys”

Chicago has been watching the talented Meghan Murphy truly become a household name. She is dynamic in everything she does. I think the first I ever saw of her was in “Hazel” at Drury Lane and from the moment I saw her stage presence, I know that she was a rising talent in our community. Since then we have watched her do “her thing” in shows such as “Mamma Mia” and “Smokey Joe’s Café” and even in the Children’s musicals at Marriott ( presently the evil Witch in “Sleeping Beauty”). What a talent and a beautiful woman who never blends in- always a stand-out.

She is truly perfect for Cabaret performances as well and is stunning with her good friend Mitchell Fain in his “This Way Out Of Santaland” show at Theater Wit. In fact, it is on the set of this tour de force, that Ms Murphy, who is known on the circuit as “Big Red” ( a very statuesque woman with bright red tresses) is performing her 90 minute Christmas show with her “Boys”. From what we are told, this is year number 7 for this group to hit Chi-town ( I missed some great stuff, it seems) and she has a great following as proven by a full house on a snowy , and bitter cold Monday night in December.

Her vocals, along with those of Patrick Andrews and the music of Nick Davio and John Francisco are bright and cheerful in a different style of “Christmas Music”, much more alternative, but after all these performers promised something “Naughty and Nice” and they DELIVER! While set in the theater ( a 99 seat one) the style of the show is far more laid back and Cabaret-style. They talk to the audience and even stop and chat when an audience member hits the bar or the powder room. They are having a great time making sure that all 99 patrons are doing like-wise.

Every song has meaning to these performers and many of the audience members, including one of Murphy’s co-stars in several productions, Danni Smith ( appearing in “Sleeping Beauty “as well) knew pretty much every piece. I had hoped that the 3rd member of their trio, Cassie Slater would also be in the house. These three have performed in a Cabaret setting as well ( and I hear another is coming up). The song list is one that I was unfamiliar with, for the most part, but since I will become a follower, I imagine by next year I will know all the words of “Doesn’t it Feel Like Christmas”, “Maybe I’ll Be Fine”, “Amen” < “Single Mingle” and many ,many more. This is a show that is meant to take our minds off the everyday rushing and news stories, the tweets ( by the twits), and the which celebrity or politician is doing what to whom?

This show is 90 minutes of laughter and smiling. It is 90 minutes of feeling the good thoughts! It is 90 minutes of pure fun! It is 90 minutes of pure magic!

“Big Red and The Boys” is still available- December 12th  13th, 19th and 20th at 11 p.m.

December 15th at 8 p.m.

at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago   Stage Two    If you attend “Santaland” first, there is a special savings on this ticket. Make it a night to remember!

general admission- $20 773-975-8150 or

This is a production of About Face Theatre

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