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  The Week: Theater
EDITED BY EMMA ROSENBLUM
   
  Review
A Touch of the Poet

Eugene OíNeill's play examines our ability to delude ourselvesóand what we do when we canít.
 
  Feature
Q&A with Chita Rivera

"Audiences donít want to go ouch. I remember saying to my daughter a long time ago, 'Lisa, if you see me doing something absolutely absurd, if I lose my mind one day and have too much makeup or my skirtís too short, please tell your mother.'"
 
  Feature
The Cultural Elite: Theater

Sondheim killed as Broadway showed a taste for butcheryónot to mention molestation. Cherry Jones flew high as a nun, while Ethan Hawke wallowed in self-destruction. Amid revivals and nostalgic musicals, some playwrights proved they could smartly tackle current events. And Doug Hughes directed everything.
   
 
  Two for the 4 Million
A musical adaptation of two classic O. Henry stories about the spirit of giving.
   
 

The Gifts of the Magi
Prospect Theater Company presents a one-night-only benefit-concert reading, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, of the 1984 musical based on O. Henry’s stories “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Cop and the Anthem,” with music by Randy Courts.

December 19 at 7:30 p.m.; $20–$40; call 212-279-4200 for details.

 
  Quirky Christmas
Unconventional holiday shows provide welcome relief from the sappy standards.
   
 

1. Dick Cheney’s Holiday Spectacular 2005!
The satirical group Billionaires for Bush presents this comedic musical, featuring carols like “We Three Kings of Petroleum Are” and “Toys for the World (Are Made by Kids).”

December 16 and 18; $15; call 212-561-9692 for tickets and details.

2. ’Tis the @#$%-ing Season
Three original holiday comedies play together for a night of seasonal fun—two straight plays, Chimping and Why Am I Attracted to Narcissists?A Christmas Story, and one musical, The First Annual St. Ignatius Chanukah Pageant.

Through December 21; $15; call 212-279-4200 for tickets and details.

3. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players . . . On Ice!
A family musical act, fronted by 11-year-old drummer and vocalist Rachel Trachtenburg with dad Jason and mom Tina in supporting roles, that syncs up catchy holiday tunes with vintage slide collections.

December 18 through 23; $20; call 212-477-5288 for tickets and details.

 
   
   
   
 
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