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Grenadine McGunkle's Double-Wide Christmas

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After a two-year hiatus, Running With Scissors revived its serialized holiday show Grenadine McGunkle's Double-Wide Christmas at One Eyed Jacks. All the regulars were back in fine form: big-haired chanteuses Crystal (Lisa Picone) and China (Ashley Ricord) had new tales of what they had actually done instead of headlining in Branson, Mo., this past year; mailman Johnny Shoemake (Bob Edes Jr.) was tired of holiday fruitcakes and got closer to realizing his dream of having gender reassignment surgery; Helen Highwater (Jack Long) tried to steal everyone's gifts; Grenadine (Dorian Rush) filled her Crock-Pot with cocktail wieners, and Madge (Elizabeth Pearce) used some Icy-Hot to remedy her carpal tunnel syndrome long enough to hit the keys on her Casio. Gladys Finkelstein (Brian Peterson) had a more exotic tale, having been conscripted into compulsory Israeli military service while attending Purim celebrations ("It's like Mardi Gras, only louder," she told the crew at the Everlasting Arms Motor Park). It provided an opportunity to turn Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" into "Jews on the Battlefield" in a rock video-imitating ensemble dance number with gratuitously sacrilegious references to battle stress inducing desires for ham and other pork products. But most of the variety-style show's songs were reworked Christmas carols, and the outrageous parodying was highlighted in Shoemake's homage to a planned sex change in what should have been titled "Carol of the Balls." As an alternative to trimming a traditional tree, the show offered a barrage of guilty holiday pleasures. — Will Coviello

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