Aimee Mann's 2nd Annual Christmas Show
Vic Theatre; Tue 11
Taking a page from that late, great showbiz giant Bob Hope, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann will celebrate Christmas with a variety show. It won’t be televised and Dean Martin will not be exhumed for any swizzle-stick bon mots, but in many other regards Mann’s holiday tour is like a hipper version of an old-school, all-star musical-comedy hour.
The seasonal exploit worked so well last year that Mann is taking her yule-themed program back on the road, inviting an array of special guests to sit in with her. No, Chicago won’t get to see Mann jam with the Decemberists as some other towns will (what band could be more perfectly named for a Christmas concert?), but we expect that Manhattan marvel Nellie McKay will be a good deal more fun, anyway. Anyone taken with McKay’s one-woman mash-ups of Doris Day and Eminem knows to expect a dose of elfin delirium when she joins Mann on songs from the latter’s new album, One More Drifter in the Snow. The disc looks at the season from some less-predictable perspectives—including a version of Jimmy Webb’s “Whatever Happened to Christmas” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Can’t wait to hear McKay tackle that one.
Mann says her influences for the record are Vince Guaraldi’s jazz-inflected soundtracks for the old Peanuts holiday specials and Johnny Mathis’s silky 1950s renditions of carols, hymns and Santa Claus novelties. Injecting the bill with some humor is Daily Show and HBO vet Paul F. Tompkins, along with rising 26-year-old comedian Morgan Murphy, a former writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live whom Heeb magazine described as the love child of Pippi Longstocking and Steven Wright. Keep Hope alive!