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Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

Alchemist Improvises Holiday Comedy

Finding new humor in the old Season

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Christmas sentiment is easy to fake. The holiday reserved for Dec. 25 is easily the single most clichéd of all. It's a strange amalgam of traditions that have congealed together over many, many years to form into something that’s sometimes very difficult to take seriously. So why not have a laugh at it? This holiday season, Alchemist Theatre presents A Kick in the Dickens, a comic jab at the holiday season that's done entirely on the fly.

A troupe of seasoned improv comics will perform a holiday tale entirely from scratch based on audience suggestions this holiday season. It's a mishmash of various comic talents including composer/performer Jason Powell and a host of rising talents. Andrea Moser has performed with Powell in the sketch comedy group named The Show. Matt Koester and Anna Figlesthaler have both been seen onstage recently in a number of productions. Lee Rowley is a seasoned comic performer who has contributed to numerous improv projects in the past. All in all, a formidable bunch of comic minds here.

The holidays are perfect fodder for improv comedy because their themes are so nauseatingly over-done and over-exposed. It's nice to see Alchemist taking some time to make fun of it all.

A Kick in the Dickens runs Dec. 6-22 at Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For ticket reservations, visit thealchemisttheatre.com.

Theatre Happenings

  • The Milwaukee Rep continues its season this week as it opens a staging of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The Mark Healy adaptation is well over two hours long and should provide a welcome alternative to traditional holiday fare, running Dec. 11 through Jan. 13, 2013, at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, 108 E. Wells St. For ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490.
  • Off The Wall Theatre goes in a slightly afferent direction for alternative holiday fare as the captivating Liz Mistele stars in a Dale Gutzman-directed production of Lerner and Lowe's Gigi. The show runs Dec. 14-31 at Off The Wall Theatre, 127 E. Wells St. For ticket reservations, call 414-327-3552.