Review: 'A Christmas Carol Unscripted'

December 5, 2013
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If other holiday show are too tame for you, consider visiting ComedySportz’s “A Christmas Carol Unscripted” (Fridays through Dec. 23). You can even make it a double feature if you sneak out during the curtain call of "A Very Phoenix Xmas 8: Angels We Have Heard While High"—as I did—and hustle down the block to Mass Ave. (Watch for a review of the Phoenix show in the Dec. 9 IBJ.)

What doubling up this way up won’t allow for is time to settle into the ComedySportz Theatre, order a snack, and scribble down movie quotes, song lyrics and random sentences. These scraps, dropped into onstage buckets, are used throughout the show as the improvisation team modifies the familiar story, incorporating whatever anonymous lines they happen to draw.

If the crowd when you go is anything like the crowd on my visit, the slips of paper will be rich with “Anchorman” quotes, scatological insults and descriptions of sexual gymnastics. (In case it isn’t clear already, be aware that, unlike the usual fun fare at ComedySportz, this Dickens spoof is for adults only.)

The Nov. 29 opening-night performance featured a cast of local improv vets, rolling with whatever craziness was thrown at them and instigating much of it themselves. Opening with a made-up-on-the-spot madrigal, working a street song into the mix, and creating hilarious and very specific variations on Scrooge (thanks to audience suggestion, a crack dealer) and his visiting ghosts, the show provided exactly what should be expected: laughs by the sleigh-load.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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