'Twist Your Dickens or Scrooge You!’ Review - Goodman and Second City

Ready for a night out on the town with the wild and wicked Scrooge
himself? Charles Dickens is to the rescue in this holiday time,
laugh-filled parody of everything from 19th century advertisements to the
1965 Peanuts/Charlie Brown crew. That is, if you can keep up with the
constant plot and character changes throughout the two-hour extravaganza.

Did we mention George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life?” He appears on
stage frequently as does Tiny Tim, The Ghost of Christmas Future, the toys
of the Island of Misfit Toys who turn on each other in despair, and the
disparate likes of Orphan Annie, Batman and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
Sometimes you have to be a genius to understand all the double entendres
and schtick emanating from The Second City Ensemble as they criss-cross
times, characters and plots.  There’s even improvisational moments as the
audience members are is invited to share their worst or silliest
experiences with each other.



All this happens from now until January 3rd at the intimate Owens Theatre
within the Goodman Theatre at 170 North Dearborn Street, Chicago.


The seven- member ensemble includes Francis Guinan as Scrooge (Brian Boland
replaces him starting December 26); Frank Caeti as the Ghost of Christmas
Present, Peter Gwinn as Jacob Marley; Sayjal Joshi as Tiny Tim; Beth
Melewski as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Robyn Scott as Mrs. Cratchit;
and Tim Stoltenberg as Bob Cratchit.  Of course, each appears as other
characters as the plays within a play stream on.


Additionally, each show includes a special Chicago-based celebrity in a
cameo appearance.  Our special guest was Chef Rick Bayless who managed to
deliver a few semi-funny jokes in his brief debut.

Written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, this show is directed by the Artistic Director of the Second City Training Center, Matt Hovde. The show originally had its premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, November 2012. The Los Angeles Times called the show a “riotous havoc.”


Kudos to the behind-the-scenes creative team  who work non-stop  to change sets, costumes, lighting and sound in this rapid-paced show.  The set designer is Tom Buderwitz; costume designer is Rachel Lambert; lighting design by Gina Patterson and sound design by Casi Pacilio. Mara Filler is the Production Stage Manager.


Twist Your Dickens is appropriate for adults and savvy teens 16-plus.  Please be advised that the show incorporates the use of strobe lights, smoke and haze.


Tickets range in price from $25-$61.  Tickets are available by phone at 312-443-3800 or at the box office at 170 North Dearborn.

The schedule is:


Tuesdays: 7:30 pm

Wednesdays: open only December 17 at 7:30 pm; December 31 at 6 pm and 10 pm

Thursdays: 7:30 pm (except December 25)

Fridays 8 pm (4pm on December 26)

Saturdays: 4 pm and 8 pm

Sundays: 3pm and 7 pm (except December 14)

Mondays: open only Dec. 22 at 7:30 pm; Dec. 29 at 4 pm and 8 pm


Photos: Courtesy of Goodman Theatre


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