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Naked Holidays

This offten irrreverent revue -- filled with plenty of unclothed performers -- feels a bit like a naughty episode of Saturday Night Live. logo
The cast of Naked Holidays
(© Kaitlin Dale)
The aptly-titled Naked Holidays fills the Ace of Clubs basement space with nearly two-dozen young (and sometimes bare) performers singing, dancing, and acting their way through a series of amusing but uneven sketches, with the end result feeling like a slightly naughty episode of Saturday Night Live.

The show begins promisingly with brief snapshots of familiar Christmas and Hanukkah moments -- a man struggling through one of the less popular dreidel songs is particularly memorable. Then Alessandro Colla and Ruthie Stephens present themselves as the emcees of the evening and instantly captivate us with their charm, but they soon disappear.

The show continues with a very long imagining of how Adolf Hitler celebrated Christmas, entitled, "No One Enjoys Christmas More Than Hitler." While it begins intriguingly as Hitler frets over his Xmas party and bickers with Eva Braun as she cooks up German delicacies in the kitchen, the sketch quickly loses steam as the novelty wears off. Alex Dunbar as the Fuhrer shouts every line as though the louder he shouts, the funnier it will be. It works a bit at first, but then becomes numbing.

The cast is generally very endearing and their enthusiasm is what ultimately drives the show. When Alexandra Scott walks out on stage naked for the first time, wearing only a big smile, she puts the audience at ease before sitting down to play a solo piano piece. Another moment has Colla, Dunbar, Levi Morger, and Leal Vona launching into an a cappella rendition of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" clad only in Xmas stocking thongs.

The finale, "The Naked People Play", tries to deconstruct the impact and intentions of having nudity in a show, but ultimately, the people who hold our attention are the ones without clothes. (Sarah Schoofs is particularly memorable flying across stage in her birthday suit as a superwoman of sorts.)

The biggest problem, however, is the show's structure. Because there are so many disparate parts, there needs to be something holding it all together. If the opening emcees came back throughout, some of the transitions might not feel so jarring.

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