Saturday February 24th 2018

“Twist Your Dickens”

1617_twist_400x498Highly Recommended **** It’s Back!!! Second City’s “Twist Your Dickens” or Scrooge You!, as the ticket says, is back in the intimacy of the Owen Theatre of The Goodman. This year, Second City alum, Ron West, brings his charm and comic with to the main role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Those of you who may have seen last year’s edition were treated to a dramatic actor taking on this task of irreverent and interactive seasonal satire. Yes, this play, which has the feeling of a Second City Revue, is a satire of the play that is just down the hall in The Albert, “A Christmas Carol”.

Written by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, this two- hour production ( two acts with an intermission) is a show that has become another annual holiday presentation. However, being that this is insane satire, the script has changes from year to year, and also since they use the audience from time to time, the content of the show has some minor adjustments. These changes are not just from year to year, but in fact, performance to performance. The story starts out as if it is “A Christmas Carol”, but within minutes, as we meet some of the playful characters, we soon see that this is a spoof and a diversion from all the holiday stuff going on in our lives. You cannot help but find humor in the scripting, the ad-libs and the audience participation.

The ensemble is made up of some of Second City’s leading members including Greg Matthew Anderson (Cratchit), Carisa Barreca (Ghost of Christmas Present), Katie Caussin (Mrs. Cratchit), Sarah Dell’Amico ( Tiny Tim), and of course Mr. West. The other ensemble members, who by the way fit in to perfection are Joel Boyd and Joe Dempsey (showing a side of his talent that I do not think anyone ever suspected was within him-Bravo, Joe). These six performers play all types of parts outside of the actual spoof. They do commercials, they do a skit about Santa choosing naughty and nice, and the toys that no one wants. There is also a brilliant scene about the part of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that was supposedly cut from the famous TV special.

tyd16_02

Since the show has the ability to change from year to year, and as I said earlier, from night to night, audience members can easily bring back friends and relatives over the run. It is funny enough to do this. In this year’s rendition, much has been added about the recent election as well as The Cubs ( of course!). What is nice about Second City and its relationship with our local theater companies is the ability to work with them. Last year, an amazing show was done at Writers Theater in Glencoe, and other companies have been at Navy Pier, The Metropolis in Arlington Heights, The Paramount in Aurora and of course here at The Goodman. This is why Chicago’s theater scene is as amazing  and well respected as it is.tyd16_06

If you need laughter in your life, in particular to make it through the rest of our Holiday season, I suggest catching “Twist Your Dickens”, which will continue at The Goodman Thru December 30th with performances as follows:

tyd16_03Mondays  ONLY on December 26th  3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tuesdays  7:30 p.m. (none on 12/27)

Wednesdays  7:30 p.m.

Thursdays  7:30 p.m. on 12/22 a 3 p.m. performance

Fridays  8 p.m.  on 12/23 there will be a 3 p.m. show

Saturdays  8 p.m.  on 12/10 and 12/17 also a 4 p.m. show NO PERFORMANCE ON CHRISTMAS EVE and DAY

Sundays  3 p.m.  and 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $25- $47 and can be purchased at the box office located at 170 N. Dearborn Street, by calling 312-443-3825 or by visiting

There are discounts for students and specials every day (check out the website) as well as parking discounts.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at ” Second City’s Twist Your Dickens”tyd16_15

photos courtesy of Liz Lauren

Leave a Comment

More from category

“Cosi Fan Tutte” review by Jacob Davis
“Cosi Fan Tutte” review by Jacob Davis

★★★★★ Sublime music mismatched with fluffy subject matter—that’s the long-standing criticism of Wolfgang [Read More]

“The Wolves”
“The Wolves”

As someone who has spent many years around soccer, in particular, girl’s/women’s soccer, watching the [Read More]

“Southern Gothic”
“Southern Gothic”

★★★★★Let me preface my review of the latest production at Windy City Playhouse, by explaining that it is not [Read More]

“Surely Goodness and Mercy”
“Surely Goodness and Mercy”

Highly Recommended **** One of my favorite “storefront” theaters is Redtwist, a PURE storefront on Bryn [Read More]

“Breach”
“Breach”

The actual title of the play now onstage at The Victory Gardens Theater is “Breach: a manifesto on race in [Read More]