It has been ten years that Hell in a Handbag Productions has been bringing Chicago “Rudolph The Red Hosed Reindeer, ” the brainchild of artistic director David Cerda. This send up to the 1967 stop-motion masterpiece seems to have spent the year stocking up on big, gay steroids. Cerda’s script has moments of genius that would make Charles Busch proud, but the need to cram every zinger and gay stereotype into each scene leaves little room for the piece to breathe. It does not help that director Justin M. Kirkberg has paid little attention to the tight, physical detail this kind of camp demands. Elves are noncommittal to dance steps and crowd scenes wind up in straight lines, making it difficult to focus on anything. However, Herbie (Dan Kickey), the misfit elf with dreams of dentistry, manages to push through and put a point to Cerda’s wit and capture the spirit of the source material. (William Scott)
At the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre Studio Space, 1229 W. Belmont, (773)833-1090. This production is now closed.