December 9, 2009

Theater preview - Reindeer tell their sides of story in 'The Eight'

By John Staton

If the Tiger Woods saga has taught us anything, it's that even the most squeaky-clean of idols aren't always what they appear to be.

In "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues," a play by Jeff Goode opening this week at The Brown Coat Pub and Theatre, that theme is explored to comic effect when some of Santa Claus' reindeer accuse jolly old St. Nick of, well, since this is a family newspaper, let's just call them crimes against nature.

Although "The Eight," produced by Guerilla Theatre, talks about some rather outrageous things, the play has "a good moral message encased in a ball of comedy," said Tony Moore, one of the show's four actors.

In separate 10- to 12-minute monologues, each actor - Moore, Susan Auten, Richard Davis and Amber Davis - portrays two reindeer, all of whom have been summoned to a police interrogation room after Santa's arrest for sexual harassment. Some of the reindeer, like Richard Davis' gung-ho Dasher, who he compares to Val Kilmer's Iceman from the movie "Top Gun," are staunchly pro-Santa. Others, like Auten's raging feminist Blitzen, are leading the charge against the old man. Yet others, including Moore's dithering Dancer, don't know what to believe.

Basically, it's a "Rashomon"-style setup, with the audience getting eight different versions of the same story before things are tied up in the end.

If you have a problem with Santa being accused of things like pedophilia and bestiality, Richard Davis assures that it's all presented in "a very humorous and ridiculous way."

In any event, you'll probably want to leave the kids at home for this one.

John Staton: 343-2343

On @StarNewsPlay