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In the 1980s, Dee Snider crafted an anti-establishment persona heading the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. So some might be surprised that the rocker famed for chart-topping protest anthems like "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" is creating and starring in a new musical that aims to bring families together for the holidays.
"Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale" makes its world premiere at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place for a two-month run starting Nov. 4.
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Dee Snider, the longtime frontman of Twisted Sister, really likes his family Christmas. Over lunch the other day with Snider and Suzette Guilot-Snider, his charming wife of more than 30 years, he spoke of trips from Long Island into Manhattan with the kids to see Santa and a show, the Christmas journal he'd kept over the years as his kids grew, his love of togetherness, his feeling that there are too few Christmas shows that a whole family can enjoy together.
You might not expect the Jimmy Stewart routine from the ponytailed creative force behind one of America's more interesting and outrageous heavy metal bands. But, for the record, the cheerfully sentimental author of "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" also penned a ditty called "The Magic of Christmas," recorded by Celine Dion. Snider long has eschewed many elements of that famous rock lifestyle, and been a man of many seemingly incongruous parts. But while many of his peers are just now blinking in the post-rehab sunlight, Snider has been coming up with new ideas all these years, pushing forward his brand.
"The Magic of Christmas" is one of the songs in his eponymous new Christmas show, "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale," which begins performances in Chicago this week at the Broadway Playhouse and that Snider sees as filling a weirdly neglected niche in the oft-lucrative realm of seasonal American entertainment — the rock 'n' roll Christmas show, aimed squarely at aging 1980s rockers and their kids. Or in some cases now, grandkids.
"I can't believe nobody has thought of this before," Snider said. "Everything else out there is all 'The Nutcracker' or 'The Grinch.' I took my 10-year-old to Radio City once. He told me it made him hate Christmas."
The premise of the new, Rockettes-free show, which stars Snider, in person at every performance, is that a struggling heavy metal band called Daisy Cuter (victim of a misspelling) really wants to perform rock songs, but due to some gremlin or mischievous diabolic spirit, the rockers instead find Christmas ditties coming out of their mouths.
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Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale is set to premiere at the BroadwayPlayhouse in Chicago onNovember 4, starring the lead singer of Twisted Sister himself, Dee Snider. Performances continuethroughout the holiday season, concluding two months later on January 4, 2015. Dee Snider’s Rock &Roll Christmas Tale treats the audience to the story of a heavy metal band called Daisy Cutter, stilllooking for their musical place in the sun even though the highpoint of bands of their style has beenover for three decades.
The four members of this striving bandare willing to do anything to make theirheavy metal dreams come to fruition,including selling their souls to Satanhimself if that’s what it takes for them toexperience rock star levels of success.But it seems that the Christmas Spirit hasother ideas, and every time the band triesto finalize their pact with the Devil, theirwild lyrics are magically transformed intogentle holiday carols. Twisted Sister leadsinger Dee Snider not only stars in thisnew holiday musical, he was alsoresponsible for creating it and getting itonto the stage. Critics are calling DeeSnider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale a very funny and sweet theatrical experience that has somethingfor every member of the family, especially those who are missing the heavy metal bands synonymouswith the 80s music scene.
Courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times
It’s no “Jingle Bell Rock.”
And that’s precisely the point of “Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale,” a full-blown stage musicalwritten by and starring the Twisted Sister frontman, which makes its world premiere in Chicago on Nov.4.
“Put your name above the title. I learned that from ‘Spinal Tap’,” Snider said during a recent chat on asunny fall day in Chicago. “We’re at a point in history where virtually every generation has been raisedon rock. I’m a grandfather, and I was raised on rock. My grandkids are raised on rock. I was like, I thinkthere’s a place for a rock and roll Christmas story.”
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Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider is no stranger to make-up and women's clothing.
But neither is Chicago.
Snider is in town producing a Christmas show that debuts next month, but the Windy City has seen his kind of style before: on former Bulls forward Dennis Rodman.