Phoenix Theatre; curated by Bryan Fonseca and Lori Raffel; through Dec. 23
The beauty of Phoenix's holiday show is its ability to seem both familiar and strange year after year. Each year, audiences know what's in store but are still able to delight at surprises. The show presents a multi-denominational rumination on various celebrations - Pagan, Christian, Jewish, etc. - with a mixed bag of skits touching on topics such as Santa's elves (now on strike), the economy of Christmas, dancing sock-monkey dolls, inter-faith families and a horny reindeer.
An ensemble of faces familiar to the Phoenix stage gel into a family, headed by Charles Goad. (Those that have missed their holiday dose of Goad as Scrooge at IRT will appreciate the return of his seasonal cheer.)
Local artist Kyle Ragsdale takes the helm as scenic designer, creating dingy, durable decorations endowed with holiday sentimentality. Each quirky and beautiful painted flat clicks into relevance from scene to scene.