There is certainly joy and humor to be found in the relentless mocking of dearly held traditions, including Christmas. Unfortunately, ARFTCo has missed the sleigh, so to speak, with their new show, a series of short plays and skits that seek to parody the holiday season. The first act of the Friday night program, one of two presented in repertory, has its moments—actress Tina Haglund is a rare bright spot in several of the pieces— but the scripts are just plain bad, and rely on recycling worn out jokes and tired, broad caricatures (white trash Christmas again? Really?). One play in particular hinges uncomfortably on a weak and often incomprehensible Hanukah vs. Christmas theme, as unfunny as it is offensive. Painfully long transitions and seemingly under-rehearsed performances only illuminate the sloppily disjointed structure of the program’s first half, which ran well over one hour. The second act remains a mystery to me—I fled in disgust during the intermission. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At the Conservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln. This production is now closed.