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Theater Wed Dec 09 2015

Maul Santa (The Musical) Bumpy and Mediocre, at Best

Maul Santa

Maul Santa (The Musical), with book by Ricky Glore and music by J. Sebastian Fabal, is a cross-genre production that plays until Dec. 19. Featuring a "real life" Santa and Mrs. Claus (and their two-elf entourage), Maul Santa seeks to answer the question, "What if the legendary gift-giving figurehead of Christmas got trapped in a mall with a bunch of zombies during a zombie apocalypse?"

Funny idea. But as with most new productions, the devil is in the details, and the details here fall short.

Were there some good moments? Sure. I enjoyed Kyle Encinas as Barry (the comedic elf). He brought charm and humor to the role. And the switch in Mrs. Claus (played by Ali Delianides) was hysterical when she switched from mealy and subservient to kick-ass zombie slayer. There were also some winning numbers. "Zombie Killer Santa" was particularly funny with its classic heavy metal riffs. And the last number in the show, "Really Freaking Awesome," was catchy.

But overall, this production was uneven and lacked polish. The book wasn't very strong--the story had many holes and felt rushed. (The production only clocked in at 55 minutes with an intermission, so that wasn't my imagination.) The zombie cast repeated--I watched the same zombie (played by Noah Arnold) die five times as did his best to represent different random zombies. The prop guns and the fake blood were not convincing. A bullet belt was worn upside-down. The list goes on.

This production takes place at the Public House Theatre, which has a bar, so if one had a few drinks and had a large group of friends with them (and it were a late night show), these flaws could be ignored. But overall, the production was uneven and lackluster and could have benefited from some more attention to detail. Not really what you want from a holiday show, when the idea is to either get in holiday spirit or forget the season altogether.

Maul Santa: The Musical, produced by weARE Productions, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and 10pm at the Public House Theatre at 3914 N. Clark until Dec. 19. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on the Public House website.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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