After spending a drunken hour watching the trailer for Cindy Lou Who, the classic Dr. You’ll never see the Seuss tale the same again. Turns out the Grinch isn’t just a Christmas-hating misanthrope; he is also a caretaker and a useless husband. Cindy, an exhausted 40-year-old who now lives as an outcast outside Whoville, is determined to set the record straight.
For a dozen years in the 2010s and 2010s, Theater Wit hosted “The Santaland Diaries,” David Sedaris’s wry take on the capitalist hustle and bustle of the holidays. With “Who’s Holiday,” Lakeview theater offers another irreverent comedy for those looking to add some spice to the sweetness of the season’s plethora of “Nutcrackers” and “Christmas Carols.”
Written by Matthew Lombardo, “Who’s Holiday” premiered off-Broadway in 2017 and is in its third consecutive season at Theater Wit, directed by Christopher Pazdernik and starring Veronica Garza in the role that brought her huge success. Jeff Award nomination At the late-night show I attended this past weekend, it took the actor a while to connect with a fairly subdued audience, but the clever script and Garza’s entertaining, surprisingly touching performance made for an entertaining start to the series. from seasonal shows.
The one-player play takes place on Christmas Eve, as Cindy prepares to host a few friends in her modest but cozy mobile home. Angela Weber Miller’s gorgeous set mixes Whoville touches, from slanted window panes to the slender, snow-capped peaks in the background, with garlands and holiday lights to create a whimsically festive effect. Costume designer Uriel Gomez complements Miller’s aesthetic by dressing Cindy in sparkly tracksuits, metallic reindeer tights, and a garishly patterned Christmas dress with large bows on her giant blonde bun.
Unfortunately, Cindy’s efforts to decorate her home are in vain; Their friends call one by one with made-up excuses to give up the party. Instead he spends the evening drinking cocktails, smoking Who-hash, and regaling the audience with his pain.
Using Seuss-inspired rhymes in a thick Boston accent, she recalls her first encounter with the Grinch as a toddler and catching him sneaking off with her family’s holiday decorations on Christmas Eve. But the story doesn’t end with the Grinch turning into a big-hearted furball and carving out the fried monster. As Cindy grows up, she becomes close friends with young Who. more close, soon it will become clear.
To the horror of Whoville, Cindy escapes at age 18 and gives birth to a green baby. While her new husband is great in the bedroom, as he gleefully tells the audience with rhyming innuendos, the young wife finds herself struggling to support the family while the Grinch spends his days idling around in his cave. Eventually the situation spirals out of control and he loses everything, including custody of his beloved daughter Patty.
While Lombardo’s script is based on the Seuss universe, it references characters such as the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax and Sam-I-Am, as well as “Hamilton,” “Wicked” and Obamacare. A miniature bottle of Malört even makes an appearance in the Wit production. Cindy further breaks the fourth wall with a few minutes of audience interaction; If attendance isn’t your thing, choose your seats accordingly.
Despite the adult humor and F-bombs, there’s plenty of heart in this vodka-fuelled comedy. At its core, “Who’s Holiday” is about loneliness, isolation, and how the holiday season sharpens the pain of alienation from family and friends. These themes reach an emotional climax when Cindy invites the audience to sing “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,” then sings the lyrics alone: “One day soon we’ll all be together / If the fates allow it. / Until then we just have to mess things up somehow “It will be necessary.”
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Whether you’re getting excited about the snow falling as I type or bracing yourself to shuffle the weeks ahead, “Whose Holiday” is the ideal bite-sized show to add to your December schedule. You can leave the kids at home, grab a Who-themed drink from the theater bar, and still go to bed at a reasonable hour. And if you’re spending the holidays with people you love, you’ll likely leave the theater with a renewed appreciation for such good fortune.
Emily McClanathan is a freelance critic.
Review: “Who’s on Vacation!” (3 stars)
When: until December 30
Where: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.
Working time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Tickets: $39-$48 at 773-975-8150 and theaterwit.org