November 26, 2008
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Chris D’Itri’s production company often has a bit different holiday production.
Past productions include a parody of “The Nutcracker” to “Rock Nativity.”
This year, his offering is a little darker and a lot more adult, even though it includes Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and eight tiny but highly disgruntled reindeer.
The play, “The Eight Reindeer Monologues,” runs as a dinner theater at The Moose Lodge, 3001 N. Bend Road, today through Sunday and Dec. 5, 6 and 7.
Dinner and theater nightly is $20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails. Dinner is served at 7 and production at 8 p.m. each day. For reservations, call 440-536-4852.
How dark is the play? “Santa is being charged with rape and all of the reindeer are telling their story and what they know and their own personal experiences.”
Mrs. Claus is a drunk who is abusive to the elves.
“The language is a bit off color and so is the subject, but it is definitely adult entertainment. It is very dark but very funny.”
He described it as R-rated.
“The reason behind me doing shows of this caliber is to bring the art of theater into Ashtabula,” he said.
“I enjoy ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ ‘The Sound of Music’ or ‘Grease’ just as much as the next person, but there is more to theater than the old standards and reliables.
“True theater-goers appreciate theater, no matter what. They should have the opportunity to broaden their experiences There are organizations that are state-funded and are locally supported by patrons and companies and they kind of are expected to have a certain caliber of theatrical morality,” D’Itri said.
“Whereas I, being independent, can offer a more adult venue,” he said.
“I enjoy the varieties of freedom of expression that comes with different venues; including ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at the First Presbyterian Church or “P.S. Your Cat is Dead at the LA Cafe.”
And while the play is risqué, D’itri says, “I know that any theater goer who comes to see the performance will thoroughly enjoy it.”
Ultimate Appearance Hair Salon on Main Avenue, Ashtabula, is a major sponsor of the show.