This holiday season, Oregon Art Beat and Arts & Life are helping you navigate the seasonal performances — some old and some new — with weekend previews of our bet bets. Check out some of what’s on tap this weekend.
Portland Center Stage: Twist Your Dickens
Move over David Sedaris — Portland Center Stage has a new raunchy holiday comedy this year. Well, another raunchy holiday comedy; the company is still putting on Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries.
Twist Your Dickens is an irreverent spin on A Christmas Carol by the improvisational group The Second City. The show debuted last year in Culver City, California to positive reviews, with the Los Angeles Times writing it was “good medicine for a harried season.” Familiar characters like Scrooge and Tiny Tim join other more anachronistic characters for a series of improv skits. For example, in last year’s California production, the performers unwrapped gifts in different time periods as suggested by the audience.
Second City’s Matt Hovde directed the show. Another Second City veteran, Craig Cackowski, who had a guest role on NBC’s Community, plays Scrooge. Several local artists have parts, too, including Sam Dinkowitz, Nicholas Kessler, Lauren Modica, Chantal DeGroat and John San Nicolas.
November 16-December 22, Main Stage, Portland
More Weekend Holiday
Oregon Cabaret Theatre: It’s A Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play
A piano, sound effects and five actors tell the classic George Bailey tale in a live radio play production. It’s a way to step back into the golden age of radio.
November 21-December 31, Cabaret Theatre, Ashland
Stumptown Stages: It’s a Wonderful Life
A new musical adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic film is directed by Tony Award-winner Corey Brunish. The Stumptown original was nominated for several PAMTAs after it debuted last year.
November 21-December 22, Brunish Hall, Portland
Portland Center Stage: The Santaland Diaries
Based on David Sedaris’ true-life experience as Crumpet the Elf during a memorable holiday season, this humorous Portland holiday tradition has Darius Pierce returning as Crumpet.
November 24-December 29, Ellyn Bye Studio, Portland