A series of 10 short plays dubbed A Very Nouveau Holiday is on for a few more performances at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park, and it's a little naughty, a little nice. The collection is hit-and-miss, ranging from mawkishly bad to absurdly smart, but the actors -- Ginger Goldman (the most versatile comic actor in the ensemble), Maya Pearson, Johanna Nchekwube, DeWayne Blundell, Ana Gonzalez, Shane Hamlin and Maxim Overton -- commit wholeheartedly to each piece.
Three scripts stand out for sharp writing. Brad McEntire's Corner Office Sky, directed by Rebecca McDonald, finds a newly promoted corporate dweeb (Blundell) flirting with a mysterious girl (Gonzalez) at the company Christmas do. He wants to take her out for more cocktails, but she has other things in mind. There's a cute sci-fi twist. Christmas Drinks by Kevin Fuld, directed by Kelsey Johnson, takes a lighthearted look at Charles Dickens' Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come (Goldman, Pearson, Nchekwube) during their off-hours, which they spend swapping stories and glugging grog in a bar. Jim Kuenzer's Gift of the Hipster Magi, directed by Alex Bigus, is a dark, funny take on the O. Henry tale about selfless giving. In this one, the egos of self-aware hipsters keep interfering with their attempts at generosity. Billed as 10-minute plays, several stretch to more like 15 or 20. Two hit the same notes with scenes about gay partners meeting judgmental parents for the first time over the holidays.
Still, it's a pleasant evening of new work in short spurts. Like a theatrical cookie swap, if one's a little stale, there's always something tastier down the line.
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A Very Nouveau Holiday continues through December 21 at the Margo Jones Theatre/Magnolia Lounge, 1121 First Ave., Fair Park., $15, 469-573-1747.