There is the joke that people approach the holiday season either with enthusiasm and joy or the dread that only shopping and forced family time together can generate. No matter where you fall on the great holiday season divide, La Jolla Playhouse and the Second City can help by providing some much need laughter with their SECOND CITY’S NUT-CRACKING HOLIDAY REVIEW, playing through December 21st.
The show is performed by six versatile and quick thinking members from Second City, and they strive to cover all things from all things seasonal to the more generic fodder for humor, relationships, and family. While their brief scripted bits are funny, they really shine when they get to interact with the audience. They both have an audience member participate onstage, but also ask for the audience to shout out suggestions to help facilitate the scenes. In order for this to really work, you need to really shout out some crazy things. At my performance we explored waging war on your neighbors, to how to become a super hero and these performers never missed a beat.
Some highlights were Nick Reese as both an incredibly sarcastic Santa answering kids letters, and (my favorite) Satan who enthusiastically comes to visit a kid who accidentally wrote a “Dear Satan” letter instead of a “Dear Santa” letter.
Chucho Perez is good not only as the confused kid who wrote the letter mentioned above, but also as a boyfriend who makes some terrible gift buying decisions for his girlfriend. Adam Schreck is quick on his feet in the improve scenes, but also is at the mercy of transportation as the driver of a vehicle who Siri has some harsh words for, as well as flashes some leg as aboyfriend on a chilly sleigh ride.
The ladies are just as funny as Rachel LaForce sings a song ( with Musical Director Nick Gage) about what they really want for Christmas, as well a some funny and touching voice work as an elderly lady who is working to remember what she once sought to forget about her family. Jo Feldman is funny as the exasperated sole Jewish kid in a classroom trying to understand “Jewish Christmas”, and Lisa Barber is very funny as her completely clueless teacher.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend and evening, as well as a way to laugh at the absurdities this holiday can bring go see SECOND CITY’S NUT-CRACKING HOLIDAY REVIEW at La Jolla Playhouse. You’ve been good this year; consider it an early gift from Santa.
For ticket and show time information go to www.lajollaplayhouse.org