By Toby Zinman
For the Inquirer
Hi, Folks. Ebenezer Scrooge here, with my guest this evening, Grinch, the noted critic who loves to hate Christmas shows. I hope this finds you well, despite the pervasive holiday cheer.
Hi, Scrooge. And a very bah humbug to you, too. What’s on the agenda for tonight’s critical roundup?
ES: The new holiday show at the Walnut Independence Studio on 3, Plaid Tidings. Thoughts?
G: Thoughts? Are you kidding? What’s to think about a show this inane? Its premise is that a singing group called the Plaids, who have been boring the angels to death in heaven since 1964 when they were killed in a car crash, return to earth for one night to put on a Christmas show.
ES: Who are these people? Can they sing? Are they funny? What?
G: The guys, Christopher DeProphetis, Ben Michael, Greg Nix and Michael Philip O’Brien, can sing like nobody’s business.
ES: So what’s the problem, Grinch?
G: The show, written by Stuart Ross, who also wrote the original show, Forever Plaid, is full of comic “bits,” all silly and childish with too much time taken up with old timey film of Perry Como, adoration of Rosemary Clooney and a spoof of the Ed Sullivan Show. You can see the thought balloons over the heads of anybody younger than 150, saying, “Who are these people?”
ES: Well, what do they sing when they finally get the chance?
G: It’s all ‘50s and ‘60s pop, like we really need to hear another weird “arrangement” of “Let It Snow” or those perennial Christmas favorites, “Mambo Italiano” and “Stranger in Paradise.” Mostly, it’s just snippets and medleys, two of the many ways of frustrating anybody who likes to hear a song sung all the way through.
ES: Well, we’re out of space, Grinch. Have yourself a merry little.
G: Back atcha, Scrooge.
Walnut Independence Studio on 3, 9th & Walnut Sts.Through Dec.30. Tickets $35 - $45 Information: 215-574-3550 or WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.