December 8, 2009
According to Cupid, Santa Claus has been "a walking, talking, holly-jolly sex-crime-waiting-to-happen for years!" Santa is a pervert?! Is nothing sacred? Playwright Jeff Goode (rhymes with "rude") exposes the seamy side of Santa with uncensored abandon in "Reindeer Monologues." Vixen accuses Santa of sexual assault-sodomy? bestiality?-so all the reindeer "dish the dirt about the boss, a drunken womanizer who likes to molest his reindeer," according to Richard Davis (Donner and Dasher).
The Monologues are "different perspectives and different narratives of the same story," Amber Davis said, told by the eight famous reindeer that are stereotypical representations of character types.
"Cupid (Tony Moore) is a flaming gay, Blitzen (Susan Auten) is a stereotypical bull dyke, and Hollywood, formerly known as Prancer (Amber Davis), is the diva.
"Each character is drawn in broad strokes, and they are all irredeemable," Richard Davis explained. Each actor plays two reindeer that have very different personalities and opinions about Santa. Auten also plays Comet, a "sweet, nice, born-again" deer who believes Santa saved her, she explained.
"I'm used to playing strong, hard characters," she added, so Comet is a challenge. Though poor, freaky Rudolph doesn't make an appearance, Auten mentioned "he talks to his invisible friend about mistletoe and penises."
There is apparently an allegorical aspect to the play, which pokes fun at abusive bosses and whiny employees/victims. "There are themes underneath the ridiculousness of it," Auten said, but obviously a "suspension of disbelief" is required.
"Reindeer Monologues" is "a uniquely bitter but humorous look at the holiday season, Christmas in America, consumerism and stereotypes," Richard Davis explained.
"Dirty, raunchy dialogue is not supposed to be associated with Christmas, so there is this shock value," Moore added. Even pedophilia is suggested. "Do you know how many tight, young asses have crossed his lap?" Cupid quips. "And he makes them stand in line!"
Christmas is for kids and, for a few years at least, parents are under enormous pressure to perpetuate the fantasy. The smart kids, of course, profess an unwavering belief in the superpower Santa well into their teens. After all, depending on the goodness factor, money is no object. Let's face it: Santa Claus has terrorized parents for years. A replenishing stock of Wiis, iPods, Xbox 360s, Pleo dinosaurs and MP3s are all just piled in the back of his sleigh and will magically appear under the tree on Christmas morning. It is also rumored that elves decorate the house, trim the tree, clean for company and cook the Yuletide feast.
"Nobody's happy during holidays," Richard Davis grumbled.
"People are all angry and mean," Auten agreed.
Guerilla Theatre offers a happy solution and temporary stress-relief for grown-ups with "Reindeer Monologues." Get a babysitter or, since children are being good right now, leave the rug rats home alone. "Turn off the pressure valve and laugh your ass off," Richard Davis urges; enjoy a well-deserved mental-health evening. Even better, invite friends and give other adults the gift of laughter instead of a bottle of wine.