Although there are tons of Christmas shows out there, how many New Year’s shows can you name? Gregg Opelka’s “Marrying Terry” is an attempt to remedy that situation with a uniquely Chicago slant. Set on a current-day New Year’s Eve at the Drake Hotel during a blizzard, “Marrying Terry” plays to the fact that there are two Terrys, one male, one female, with the same first and last name who end up accidentally sharing a room together even though each is engaged to someone else (it should be said that the set-up to accomplish this plot device goes on far longer than needed since we smell this coming a mile away). Chaos and mix-ups ensue a la opera and operetta (Opelka is best known for writing musicals and for translating operettas), except that there is no music except for some original synth bumpers and Guy Lombardo doing “Auld Lang Syne.” Lombardo has been dead for decades now, although he was closely associated with New Year’s Eve, but hey, Dick Clark came along and replaced him and even he has had a stroke and isn’t feeling well, so this is hardly a current-day New Year’s Eve. If the setting were long, long ago in a Chicago galaxy far, far away, this might work. As it is, these people seem more at home in the “I Love Lucy” era, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, the show has a pleasant nostalgic feel to it that should be particularly warm and fuzzy for Baby Boomers and older, or for those who want to experience a more-friendly era. Opelka has a wonderfully witty and comic touch and the show is overflowing with heart and romance, perhaps too much for some. The ensemble cast is first-rate and are a likable bunch to ring in a New Year with, even if this is an old New Year. (Dennis Polkow)
At the Victory Gardens Greenhouse, 2257 North Lincoln, (773)871-3000. This production is now closed.