Somewhat Recommended ** Many of us, and when I refer to us, I am speaking to those who recall the golden days of Rock & Roll and groups like Twisted Sister, will relish seeing Dee Snider’s fun little holiday show, “Rock & Roll Christmas Tale” now onstage at The Broadway Playhouse in Water Tower Place. Written by Snider and starring Snider, this is ninety minutes of fantasy about a rock and roll band that wants to make it big and to do so is willing to sign an agreement with the Devil himself. The story begins with Snider coming on stage and warming u sup with his warm smile and friendly voice. He is our story teller and sits on a comfy chair with his book ( he can read , you know!) as he tells us the tale about this band that has never made it, but has all the dreams and ambitions to do so.
They are playing in the lower level of a building that houses several groups and are in the lowest level, drawing next to no audiences. It is near Christmas and the club owner/manager, Suzette (handled with great sobriety by the lovely and talented Keely Vasquez) has given them until Christmas to attract an audience or so long! That is when our fearless leader, DD (Adam Michaels) decides to make a contract with Lucifer so that he can reach the fame and fortune he thought would be his when he obtained the rock and roll chalice (a styrofoam cup) from Ozzie Ozbourne. He gets his group, Johnny ( Dan Peters) and Tank (Tommy Hahn) along with Ralph (William Tarris, who by far is the bright spot in this so-so show) are all willing to go along with their leader.
What happens is that all of their music is taken over by the spirit of Christmas and the bar girls record them and air the new look on the web, so that the followers can see what they are missing. The girls, Christina Nieves and Taylor Yacktman add a lot of glamour and sex to the stage and they have solid voices as well. there are many times they hold up signs for the audience to participate, and the audience does! We even get little lights to use when the time is right. There is also an old rocker who tries to help the boys out played by Bill McGough (who brings out a special visitor to bring the show to its end.
Is this a great theater experience? No, I cannot say that it is. I can say that you will have fun and you will have some laughs, but of greater importance, if you loved Snider in the old days, you will adore his Twisted Sister personality and high energy today. You will also enjoy the musical numbers as handled by these performers and a new twist of “We’re Not Going To Take It!”.
Directed by Adam John Hunter with choreography by Robert Tatad on a set by Rob Bissinger, this is a work in progress. This is the first season that it is being viewed and since it is a holiday show, it will close in January and over the next ten months, Snider can look at changes that need to be made, and as the years go by, I am sure that with the help of others, this could become a staple that will come back every Holiday Season- or not!
meanwhile, this production will continue through January 4th at Water Tower Place’s, Broadway In Chicago Playhouse, located at 175 E. Chestnut (at Michigan Avenue) with performances as follows:
Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday evenings at 8 P.M.
Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets range from $30- $90 and can be purchased at the box office ( or any of the Broadway In Chicago theaters) by calling 800-775-2000 or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
Parking is available at a discount at water Tower Place (lots of good dining in the mall as well). Bring your ticket to the box office for a validation card and save some money.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale”