‘Christmas on the Rocks” at TheaterWorks Hartford is a drink brimming with laughter


Hartford — TheaterWorks Hartford wants you to have some real fun and laughter this holiday season.

Ten years ago, Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero came up with the unique Christmas idea and has been directing it ever since. He invited his seven playwrights. Of each production he had at least one performed on the TheaterWorks stage, and had his favorite childhood hero or heroine Holliday write a vignette about her character.

Ruggiero set the story up in a bar on Christmas Eve, wandering off one at a time.

This year, Ted Lange of ‘The Love Boat’ fame will be your friendly bartender, and ‘Christmas on the Rocks’ will be open until Friday.


Extremely talented and funny, Jenn Cody and Harry Booby bring all their childhood buddies into their adult and joyful lives. New episodes are incorporated each year to keep the show fresh, while others are temporarily retired.

Come meet Zuzu, the youngest daughter of George Bailey, who lives in Bedford Falls, New York. You need the angel Clarence to save him. Poor Zuzu is traumatized by all chime bells, from church bells to school bells to cow bells.

In particular, she is afraid of the bell that signals that angels are spreading their wings.

Jacques Lamarre created “Misérable Life” as a new scene filled with anxiety.

Next at the tavern door, on John Cariani’s “All Grown Up”, we meet Ralphie Parker from “A Christmas Story”. He confesses his love for all things fancy, including the pink bunny suit that Aunt Clara sent him.

“My Name is Karen” by Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas tells the story of a cartoon girl who created Frosty the Snowman. Snowman Frosty is an ungrateful girl who Karen feels she deserves. She enters the bar with a hairdryer and brags about Frosty’s death, despite the police surrounding the area.

She uses social media to declare victory.

Rudolph moves into the shadows when Hermie the Elf says she no longer wants to make toys. He wants to be a dentist in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Say it Glows.

Guilt is evident as Hermie confesses her misdeeds as a misfit and confesses her love for root canals. Sip root beer and novocaine favorite drinks with him.

Have you ever entertained your children with a visit to Elf on the Shelf, hidden in a strange place every night and entertained them with a hurtful composition? enter a toxic work environment. The elves have to watch over the children so they can tell Santa if they’ve been naughty or good.

Clearly, this elf wants a new less abused job assignment.

Little Drummer Boy on trumpet on “Drumsticks and Chill” by Judy Gold and Jacques Lamarr, with the sound of Bethlehem mangers and a nod to “Fiddler on the Roof”. Although he is amazed that the best Christmas songs were written by Jews, he laments the existence of anti-Semitism and complains that he suffers from performance anxiety.

Clara, the ballerina in “The Nutcracker,” dances to a bar to complain about the mad love emperor she married. She sips vodka and beats 55 different nuts with a stick.

Her love-hate relationship with her Nutcracker Soldier husband is fun to watch as she struggles with his non-gender-specific infidelity. I might kill him for love.

Lamarr’s “Merry Christmas, Blockhead” is last, but certainly important as Charlie Brown shuffles dejectedly just burying Snoopy #4. On the verge of divorcing his wife Lucy, his longtime psychiatrist, he has embraced a life of “good nights” and “good grief” and will never make him happy again. Almost never.

That is until a little red-haired girl walks into a bar and starts dancing.

For tickets ($25 and up), call TheaterWorks Hartford (233 Pearl St., Hartford) 860-527-7838 or visit twhartford.org. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 4:00 pm and he at 8:00 pm.

For a very comical and slightly cynical look at our childhood idol, let’s prepare a holiday booze cocktail with a twist in “Christmas on the Rocks.”



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