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Text of article from the Sun-Times Media Group
November 29, 2012

"‘Twist’ brings
Elgin holiday laughs"

By Annie Alleman

If you’ve seen one too many feel-good Christmas plays or movies this season and need a palate cleanser, the Vex Theatre Company offers up a holiday alternative.

The Elgin-based theater company presents its all-new holiday show, “Twist-a-Carol III: All About Eves.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Elgin Art Showcase in Elgin.As the title suggests, it’s the third time the group has presented an evening of short, original sketches about the holidays.

“For the last two years, including this year, all the plays ‘Twist-a-Carol’ are original. For people who have seen it before, definitely come back and see it again because it will be a totally new show,” said director Cathleen Ann.

“We’re sticking to the formula of many different plays that look at holidays and how they have the power to frustrate us. We hope to make people laugh about their holiday frustrations and look at things from a new perspective, and also gently remind people of all the good things about the holidays that we sometimes lose sight of. So there’s a positive message underneath our frustrations with the holidays.”

The centerpiece of this year’s show is “All About Eves,” a play based on the classic movie. Other original works include: “Merry Ex-Mas,” “Silver and Gold,” “Holiday Leftovers,” “Triple Xmas” and “Outlet.”

“All About Eves” is about two rivals: the personification of Christmas Eve and the personification of New Year’s Eve, and they are staging a war to see who the most popular holiday is, she said.

The women are competing among party guests and for the love of the public over who is the most popular holiday.

“It will feature appearances from many different holidays that occur throughout the year,” she said. “It will be very funny.”

Despite some of the titillating titles, the show is PG-13, she said. There’s no swearing and no nudity.

“It’s not aimed at little kids. They will get bored and it will go over their heads,” she said.

These holiday productions stemmed as a reaction to the commercialism and the trappings of the holidays, she said. It’s a way to acknowledge and celebrate the holidays with a fresh perspective, she said.

“That’s why we ended up writing so much of the show ourselves because there are very few adult shows out there for the holidays,” she said. “In order for us to do a holiday show they way we wanted to, we had to write it ourselves. It’s been well-received. It’s definitely an alternative to the usual holiday fare.”

The light plays keep the audiences interested, and there is a live piano player as well.

“I think people should come see ‘Twist-a-Carol’ if they are worn down by the stress of the holidays,” she said. “People should come see the show to get their holiday spirit renewed.”