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Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013

Alchemist Theatre Stuffs the Stocking

Something’s funny with Dickens

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This month various funny people converge on the stage of the Alchemist Theatre for A Kick In The Dickens 2: More Stuff in the Stocking. The light evening of comedy is a breezy mix of improv games, sketch comedy and humorous songs.

Jason Powell opens on guitar singing the title song—a catchy little tune that sets a pleasant tone that much of the rest of the show carries quite well. The show alternates between sketch comedy and improv with an easy, relaxed rhythm. Much of the show’s success lies in its informality. All the forced tradition of a conventional holiday show melts away over the course of the first half hour.

The sketch comedy misses pretty consistently. There’s a particularly weak bit about amphetamine-addicted flying reindeer. There’s another involving a sleazy crooner. The best sketch in the program more than makes up for the rest of them, though: four comics play the ghosts from A Christmas Carol hanging out in a room outside the main action of the story. It’s a simple idea, but the cast brings warmth to the stage in rendering the rapport between the ghosts.

The best of the improv has the group improvising an entire one-act Dickensian play from audience suggestions. Some remarkably fun improv talent keeps the one-act from feeling like the childish game of Mad Libs that it might otherwise have been.

A Kick In The Dickens 2 runs through Dec. 28. For tickets, visit thealchemisttheatre.com