In this endearing, moving and hilarious holiday musical we meet the Pazinskis, 4 kids and 2 parents living over a saloon in lower-middle class Buffalo, NY.
Christmas 1959 is not very merry for the Pazinskis. Dad is going through a mid-life depression and refuses to buy a Christmas tree. Sister Clarissa is threatening to expel 12-year-old Rudy for performing a blasphemous one-man Nativity Scene where he plays all the characters as Hollywood celebrities. Mom wants the happy man she married returned to her, and the two teenagers, sensing their parents' discord, are worried that this may be their last Christmas together as a whole family.
With irreverent and heartwarming comedy, plus 14 original songs, the Pazinskis come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a family on this most stressful of holidays.
At the center of the family is 12-year-old Rudy, a rebel and Ed Sullivan impersonator. Rudy goes knuckle to ruler with his formidable teacher, Sister Clarissa, questioning everything and claiming that God put us on earth to have fun. Only weeks away from his confirmation, Rudy proclaims, “I read where there are over thirteen hundred religions in the world. I’d like to shop around!”
Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times called Tavern “utterly charming...a rare moment of paradise.”