Friday, December 21, 2012

Jackie Hoffman's A Chanukah Charol

"Jackie Hoffman's A Chanukah Charol" at New World Stages, December 8, 2012

Jackie Hoffman's kvetching continues with her new show at New World Stages.  "A Chanukah Charol" is her riff on Patrick Stewart's one-man "A Christmas Carol" retelling her trials and tribulations as an actress in New York.

The mood starts with pre-curtain music of a klezmer band playing Christmas carols. She opens by portraying Mr. Stewart as the narrator of her tale, and she gives a pretty good impersonation. 

Then, she moves into a mix of her ongoing existential career crisis that she's not Victoria Clark or Gertrude Lawrence, along with some new reminiscences of holiday gatherings with her family.  Her Jacob Marley is Molly Picon, telling of incipient visits from the requisite three ghosts, past present and future. The cleverest turn of the three is using Shelley Winters as the Ghost of Chanukah Present.

I've seen just about all of her annual appearances at Joe's Pub and have to say that as much as I liked the concept of this show, I missed her songs that have been part of her cabaret series.  At 75 minutes, it's a small commitment for a bit of fun, Hoffman-style.

"A Chanukah Charol" runs through December 29.  Tickets here.

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