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Christmas in Cudahy

In Tandem’s funny holiday favorite

Dec. 13, 2012
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You know it’s really Christmas time in Milwaukee, or at least in “da Sout Side,” when A Cudahy Caroler Christmas comes to visit In Tandem Theatre Company.

And for those holiday partiers who like their stockings filled with irreverence, bawdiness and nonstop laughs, this one’s for you, to borrow a beer phrase—and there’s plenty of ‘em in this hilarious send up of Cudahyian rituals and practices.

Stasch Zielinski tries to reunite his beloved carolers after the group had a bitter break up five years earlier. No spoilers here, as witnessing Stasch’s journey to convince these delightfully drawn characters is more than half the fun.

The eight-member cast excels throughout, from Lisa Morris’s Edna, who tries to work her way up into Whitefish Bay high society, to ex-husband and roommate Pee Wee (Nathan Wesselowski), who runs the bowling alley and continues to feud with former best friend Stasch, expertly played by Chris Flieller. Wesselowski’s lanky height contrasts against Flieller’s shorter stature, making the two on stage visually appealing.

Alison Mary Forbes, a comedic one-person show in herself, is the initially nervous librarian who, after drinking everything she can lay her hands on (including shoe polish), musters up some courage. Rarely does one see this kind of vibrant comedic slapstick onstage and Forbes deftly plays it to the hilt. Joe Fransee, Kelly Cline, Samantha Paige and pianist David Bonofiglio round out the creative ensemble.

Much credit goes to playwright Anthony Wood who created the piece based on an idea by Lee Becker, with additional lyrics by Dylan Bolin. The clever parody on traditional carols with titles like “O, Bowling Night!” and “We T’ree Guys from Cudahy Are” make A Cudahy Caroler Christmas as much fun as a Packers win with a six-pack of Pabst, a big bowl of cheese curds and let’s not forget the pickled herring. Hey!

A Cudahy Caroler Christmas
runs through Jan. 5 at Tenth Street Theatre (628 N. 10th St.) For ticket reservations, call 414-271-1371 or visit www.intandemtheatre.org.


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