Santa Meets the Fruitcake, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. A stocking full of fruitcakes is a fate almost too horrible to imagine. Of course, if Santak Louse–who has a blacker heart than Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch–had his way, there wouldn’t be any Christmas at all. Unless the good little boys and girls of Berwyn can warn Santa and his elves in time, the thoroughly evil Santak Louse plans to replace Christmas with “Fruitcake Day.” At least that’s the premise of Corn Productions’ show, a musical satire of consumer culture staged in both adult and kid-friendly versions.

Unfortunately, the adult version of Santa Meets the Fruitcake is only a half step better than wretched–unless you consider jokes about Santa sticking it to Mrs. Claus in the back room of their North Pole toy factory to be either original or hilarious. Even at 70 minutes or so the show drones on far too long: a little bit of camp and blue language really isn’t enough to sustain our interest.

The children’s version fares much better: with the curse words deleted, the show is a much subtler affair. It’s much shorter too since it doesn’t have a 15-minute intermission. And unlike its adult-themed counterpart, the children’s version actually manages to spread some warmth and good cheer–which, when faced with the prospect of a world without Christmas, seems an absolute necessity. –Nick Green