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STAGE REVIEW

From Merrimack Rep, a mixed ‘Christmas’ bag

From left: Matt Rippy, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor in “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).’’ From left: Matt Rippy, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor in “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).’’ (Meghan Moore)
By Don Aucoin
Globe Staff / December 1, 2011
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The knockabout, anything-for-a-laugh spirit of vaudeville is alive and tolerably well in “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged),’’ now receiving its East Coast premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, who also perform along with Matt Rippy, “Christmas Show’’ is neither as consistently funny nor as fully developed as “The Complete World of Sports (abridged),’’ which Martin, Tichenor, and Rippy performed at Merrimack Rep last year.

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THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW (ABRIDGED)

Written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor

Sets, Tim Holtslag. Costumes, Skipper Skeoch. Sound, Mark Osten and Matthew Cowell.

Production by: Reduced Shakespeare Company. At: Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. Through Dec. 18. Tickets $24-$60, 978-654-4678, www.merrimackrep.org