November 16 — December 22, 2013
On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

By Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort
Directed by Matt Hovde

A complete send-up of the holiday classic, fully festooned with the improvisational genius behind the legendary comedy troupe The Second City. Scrooge, Tiny Tim and those know-it-all ghosts find themselves hopelessly mixed up in zany holiday sketches with anachronistic characters, uproarious improv and an ever-changing stable of drop-in local celebrity guests.

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Thursday matinees at noon

View our Season Calendar for a full list of performances and dates.

The running time for Twist Your Dickens is about 1 hour and 50 minutes, including an intermission. This production uses strobe lighting and theatrical haze.
Not all performances are offered weekly; please check the calendar for exact schedule for each production.
Note: Most productions at PCS are recommended for high school age and up; children under 6 are not permitted. Twist Your Dickens is recommended for ages 16+; mature content and language.

Read the cast and creative team bios.

View the Twist Your Dickens playbill.

Learn more about accessibility options at PCS.

Reviews and Features

Faddah Wolf | Portland Stage Reviews [Review 02 Dec 2013]

“Take heart and a few PBRs, Portland hipsters (who are even well-represented in this) — there is an outstanding, boisterous piece of sheer, delightful anarchy bound to pry your guarded, cold heart open with full, Santa-like jiggling belly laughs and even make you leave your cracked-screen Galaxy Note off and your “Wotevah” stance behind, if only for two hours. It is PCS’ presentation of The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens.”

“The comic mastery here is not only in Peter Gwinn & Bobby Mort’s razor sharp script (both veterans and emmy winners of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report), but the amazing comedy turns by the cast, both on and off script, to keep us all on our toes, under Matt Hovde’s expertly timed direction.”

“Go, and loose those holiday chains that bind you, even if it’s only your impending credit card debt from Best Buy.”

Read the full review here.

A.L. Adams | Oregon ArtsWatch [Review 28 Nov 2013]

“Well, first off, don’t expect Ye Olde Morality Play. A brainchild of Chicago’s world-famous improv brand The Second City, Twist uses the Dickens narrative as a very loose framework, but between the familiar Victorian hauntings, it also spoofs as many other Christmas classics as it can. Revealing them all would spoil a lot of the show’s best gags; suffice to say that no hallmark of yuletide culture is safe from an irreverent sendup.”

“Laying aside Dickensian life lessons in favor of a good time, Twist comes at humor from so many angles, with such irreverence and zeal, your amusement is practically guaranteed.”

Read the full review here.

Cari Johnson, Haley Martin | Portland Monthly Magazine [Review 28 Nov 2013]

“Second City brings something fresh to the tired holiday fare in Portland. With pop culture humor aimed at a younger audience, the show is amusing for the whole family (excluding your snarky older sibling who’s used to edgier sketch comedy), no matter the tangential structure. Come with an open mind, and don’t take yourself too seriously. After all, look where that gets Scrooge.”


Kristopher Haines | The Crippled Critic [Review 28 Nov 2013]

Twist your Dickens is as the title suggests, a parody of A Christmas Carol. It uses the basic framework of the classic story to unleash a rapid-fire skewering of all things Christmas, from It’s a Wonderful Life to A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Twist your Dickens is both a good way to get a dose of holiday-mirth and get your humbugs out in a safe place before the big day.”

Read the full review here.

Leela Ginelle | PQ Monthly [Review 28 Nov 2013]

“Part sketch comedy, part improv, part genre satire, the show was written by alums from ‘The Colbert Report’ and developed by Chicago’s famed Second City troupe, the launching pad for countless ‘Saturday Night Live’ stars.”

“Perhaps the play’s most novel feature is its use of audience participation through improv. At several points, characters halt their dialogue and cue the crowd to shout out suggestions.”

“The fun was watching the cast spin and riff off the suggestions, energizing each other with their wit and invention.”

Read the full review here.

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Art and photography for Twist Your Dickens. View on Flickr »

Video teaser for Twist Your Dickens. View on Vimeo »

Resource Guide

Please look for the resource guide here closer to this show's opening date.

Production blog

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

31 December 2013 & Posted by Alice Hodge

It’s that time of year.


Star of “The Santaland Diaries” on NBC’s Grimm!

19 December 2013 & Posted by Claudie Fisher

What’s it like to guest star in an episode of Grimm? We asked Darius Pierce, our Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries, to give us the inside scoop.


Here They Come A’ Wassailing!  Local Choirs Performing at the Armory

26 November 2013 & Posted by Sarah Mitchell

Here They Come A'Wassailing! We're adding some holiday spice to the Gerding Theater lobbies by inviting local choral groups to fill them with song! Join us pre-show on the following evenings to listen in. The choirs will perform between 6:45 and 7:15 p.m. Performance Schedule December 4 - Tualatin High School Crimsonnaires December 10 - Cleveland High School Daires December 17 - Wilson High School WAVE December 18 - Cloud 9 Singers December 19 - Sunset High School Madrigals December 20 - Hillsboro High School Encore Ensemble December 22 - Portland Revels


This production is not currently on sale. Please see our full season calendar for all upcoming shows.

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