The Dickens, You Say

Two theaters, two takes on A Christmas Carol--one big-budget, the other lowbrow

One can only hope the dingy, greasy-spoon atmosphere of this venue adds to the ambience of this show, a lowest-of-lowbrows adaptation of the Dickens tale. This one is set in a rundown mobile home collective in Beaver, Arkansas, where two families carry on a feud during the holidays. Redneck Junior Beauregard (Joel Black) has accidentally (he claims) shot the neighbors' dog, Tiny Tiny (portrayed by a rather cute stuffed animal that barks Jingle Bells).

Unrepentant, Junior wishes for a pump-action shotgun for Christmas and complains that all he ever gets under the tree are boxes of underwear and cans of Slim Jims. Passed out in a drunken stupor on Christmas Eve, Junior is visited by a pigtailed sprite (Meridith Morton) who introduces him to the three ghosts who'll teach him the error of his ways.

That's it for plot in this hee-hawing human cartoon (written by Erik and Jamie Baker Knapp). No point trashing a show that already has "trash" in its title. It doesn't pretend to be anything but just dumb entertainment, and it achieves that with jokes about "lesbaterians" and lines like "drunk and stupid only gets you one thing in this life--the presidency."

Details

A Christmas Carol continues at the Arts District Theater through December 29. Call 214-522-8499.

A Trailer Trash Christmas Carol continues at Pocket Sandwich Theatre through December 21. Call 214-821-1860.

The humor is about as subtle as a whiffle bat to the 'nads, and some of it is downright gross. The less said about the man wearing the adult diaper on the outside of his pants, the better.

Most of the cast would probably prefer to remain anonymous, but Miss Morton is as cute as a Christmas cookie. When she's onstage, even the waiters pay attention.

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