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Oy Vey in a Manger 

Two hours of tasteless puns, plus barbershop harmonies

Wednesday, Dec 8 2004
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"Trampolina, you can't go around making comments about Hitler like that," says Winnie, the mainstay of the Kinsey Sicks, San Francisco's homegrown a-cappella-group-in-drag. "Imagine the Führer." [Groans from the audience.] Winnie and friends wait for guests to come to their holiday party, which might be a Hanukkah celebration but includes a Christmas tree, Jesus schmaltz, and a hay-filled manger in the middle of the room. Winnie and Rachel are Jewish, you see, Trampolina and Trixie are goyim, and the cultural divide provides about two hours' worth of tasteless puns. If the group never interrupted its appalling script with smooth, crisply sung barbershop harmonies, Oy Vey in a Manger would be hard to take, but some of the songs are lovely. There's a Jewish "Macarena," a "Jingle Bells" about gays in the military, an "O Holy Night" about filming porn, and a delightfully perverted thing called "A Lay in a Manger" sung by Trixie (Jeff Manabat) as a torchy ballad. Some songs are unfortunate -- like "Where the Goys Are" and "Anal Warts" (sung to "Edelweiss") -- but Irwin Keller, as Winnie, makes it all worthwhile with an improbably pretty love ballad in Yiddish.

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