A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens' holiday perennial gets the Mad Libs treatment, with the Unexpected Productions improv team taking your audience suggestions. During a recent show, this meant that a newly divorced Bob Cratchit is laboring away at Ebenezer Scrooge's gynecology factory, while Tiny Tim sits at home with a debilitating case of Restless Leg Syndrome. Scrooge meanwhile resided on a houseboat, where he nursed a pretty serious weed habit. Over at ACT, the straight version of A Christmas Carol is now in its 37th year, but this Choose Your Own Adventure-style show is a holiday tradition in its own right, first performed in 1985. It's a practiced and funny rebuttal to the usual Yuletide redemption tale. Two different casts perform on alternating nights. During my visit, Tim Tracey's Scrooge imparted just the right amount of contempt as that moody, tightly wound, walking heart attack of a man. Portraying the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, Michael Bils vies for your attention with finely executed comic relief. TERRA SULLIVAN

Thursdays-Sundays, 8:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 29. Continues through Dec. 30, 2012

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