A six-person ensemble provides timely, belly-shaking laughs using both improvised material and bits from Second City’s archives. Festive sketches and songs cover tedious newsletters, romantic expectations of the holidays, an endless road trip to grandma’s, and a Ghost of Christmas Present with a liberal agenda. Musical director Stephanie McCullough’s tickling of the ivories is like a narrator’s voice, sensitively enlivening the pace or varying the mood. Improv buffs may cringe at the cast’s onstage giggles (world’s cheapest laugh getter) and dips into the scatological (second cheapest–and tiresome after the fifth skanky butt-licking reference). Still, these may be just the things to drive uninitiated, perhaps drunk audience members to their feet. Through 12/30: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 10 PM, Sat 7:30 and 10 PM, Sun 7 PM, $22-$27. See www.chicagoreader.com for holiday schedule. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell, Arlington Heights, 847-577-2121.