Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Different Kind of Cudahy Pride

Cudahy Caroler Christmas_001 The Southside of Milwaukee accent has been cracking me up since I moved back here, and I know by now I sound as funny as everyone else around here and I love it.  I wish I could type it for you, but I cannot.  I just don’t know how to add that drag on the o’s or that slightly nasal pinch to the rest of the vowels with a keyboard.

As delightful as that accent is, it was only the tip of the funniness iceberg at A Cudahy Caroler Christmas at In Tandem theater this holiday season.  We went the last weekend of the show – Mommy, Alfred, Munchkinhead, me and Mr. Trizzle, who was visiting from Cali.  Daddy wussed out and stayed home.

Apparently this is a long-running show that’s been quite popular for several years.  Having been gone quite awhile, I’d never heard of it and was ecstatic when I first heard of it.  A parody of the Southside set to familiar Christmas tunes, it is exceedingly cute ,though also a little more vulgar than one might expect.  The overt sexual humor in this play makes it not for young children (or my mommy).

The characters are a collection of former-singers from a defunct caroling group in Cudahy.  The main character, Stasch, is attempting to get the group back together for a special cable access tv program.  In the midst of this there’s a pending divorce, a unrequited love/obsession, a mother-daughter squabble and some old pain to be dealt with.  All of the characters, their hair included, are very typical southsiders.  Though for some reason Stasch sounded rather Scottish.  I hadn’t been this proud to claim Cudahy since our glory days of marching band championships.

Many of the jokes are cute and local – Edna wins the lottery and plans a future living the good life in Whitefish Bay; her daughter’s big dream is to be the water skiing queen at Tommy Bartlett’s; there’s mentions of Jack DeSalvo’s which was one of my grandpa’s favorite restaurants when I was growing up; and other such goodies.  By the end of the show, I really wanted to go bowling.

My favorite part was that there were just as many Polish last names in the cast list as there were in the character’s names.  My second-favorite part was the surprise added bonus  that it helped Mr. Trizzle understand Cudahy and the Southside of Milwaukee.

I don’t know that I’ll see this production again next year, but if you’re a Southsider and haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth at least one viewing.

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