Hell in a Handbag Productions Shakes Up the Holidays with CHRISTMAS DEAREST, Nov. 28- Jan. 2

10346991186_0085dd5021_nEverybody’s favorite holiday bitch is back and she’s meaner then ever in the return of CHRISTMAS DEAREST, Hell in a Handbag Productions’ Joan Crawford-infused parody of A Christmas Carol by David Cerda, directed by Steve Love. CHRISTMAS DEAREST will play November 28, 2015 – January 2, 2016 at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets are available at www.handbagproductions.org.

David Cerda returns as Joan Crawford with co-star Ed Jones as Carol Ann Crachit, Joan’s trusted maid and confidante. The cast also includes: Frankie Leo Bennett, Chazie Bly, Kristopher Bottrall, Alexa Castelvecchi, Grant Drager, Rachel Hadlock, Chad Ingold, Shiv Mann, Christina Parent, Jamie Smith and Robert Williams with Caitlin Jackson as Bette Davis.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and MGM’s biggest star, Miss Joan Crawford, is filming the title role in “Oh Mary,” a splashy new musical biography about The Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Poor Joan needs a drink. And a REWRITE! Jesus has all the best lines, the costumes aren’t sexy at all, and the guy playing Joseph is a big clumsy oaf! If they will just do it Joan’s way maybe she can salvage the picture. Join Handbag as Joan visits her shady past, her appalling present and her eye-popping future – in a tale of glamorous redemption set to music.



Written by: David Cerda

Directed by: Steve Love

Cast: Frankie Leo Bennett (Young Christina/Teeny Teena), Chazie Bly (Harry), Kristopher Bottrall, (Olive LaLake), Alexa Castelvecchi (Young Joan/20s Joan), David Cerda (Joan Crawford), Grant Drager (Andy), Rachel Hadlock (Virgin Mary), Chad Ingold (Frank/LB Mayer), Caitlin Jackson (Bette Davis), Ed Jones (Carol Ann Crachit), Shiv Mann (Henry), Christina Parent (Faye Dunaway) and Robert Williams (Vernita).

Production Team: Zachary Gipson (set design), Kate Setzer Kamphausen (costume design), Cat Wilson (lighting design), Mikey Moran (sound design) and JD Caudill (music director).

Location: Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Saturday, November 28 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, November 29 at 6:30 pm and

Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Friday, December 4 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Saturday, December 5, 2015 – Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Curtain Times: Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 6:30 pm. Please note: there will be added performances on Wednesday, December 16 at 7:30 pm and Wednesday, December 23 at 7:30 pm. There will be no performances on Sunday, December 6, Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Even), Friday, December 25 (Christmas Day) and Saturday, December 26.

Tickets: Previews: $16. Regular run: $22 in advance (Wednesday and Thursdays); $27 in advance (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays); $30 at the door. Limited VIP reserved seating with drink $40- $100. Tickets are available at www.handbagproductions.org.


David Cerda (Playwright) is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions and has written, Scream, Queen, Scream!, POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, Caged Dames, Lady X, SCARRIE The Musical, Christmas Dearest, The Birds, Lady X, and a few others. As an actor or he has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre, The New Colony, Corn Productions and Sweetback Productions. Cerda was also was a lyricist an untitled animated feature film for Amazon Studios.

Steve Love (Director) is a 2015 Jeff Award Nominee, honored for his choreography of Caged Dames at Theater Wit. A Chicago transplant from Maryland, Steve has worked as a performer, choreographer and director throughout the East Coast, the Midwest and in the Caribbean with Disney Cruise Lines. Most recently, Steve was seen onstage as Stanley in Stanley in the Name of Love (The New Colony), and in MIRACLE! (Dan Savage’s parody of The Miracle Worker with Hell in a Handbag Productions), where he portrayed that famous deaf-blind Drag Queen, Helen Stellar. Other memorable roles include the Emcee in Cabaret, Bobby in A Chorus Line, and Dickey in the original Baltimore production of The Awesome 80’s Prom! (Dir. by Tony Award winner Ken Davenport). Steve has choreographed and performed around town, but is making his Chicago directorial debut with Christmas Dearest.

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Corporation.