Agrikulture Digest
December 21, 2009

Agrikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues
By Jeff Goode
Directed by Michael Colavolpe
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park, FL

After a few weeks of egg nog and socially conscious ghosts and singing “Holly Jolly” till you puke, it’s nice to come upon a twisted, sicko holiday story like “Reindeer Monologues.” We open with hard ass Dasher (Chris Prueitt) chewing a cigar stub and giving a DI lecture on the dedication required to pull a sled full of gifts around the world once a year. Then the flamboyant Cupid (Jeff Lindberg) flames on stage, hinting at some of the more lurid veniality that occupies the North Pole staff during the off season, followed by glitzy Prancer (Ryan Gigliotti) revealing he hates kids. Well, after this month, who doesn't? More hints of trouble in paradise are confirmed by butch Blitzen, along with her fashionista gripes about a job requiring you to work naked save for some bells and leather straps, but Comet (Kevin Kriegel) defends Santa for taking him off the street and giving him a second chance after he (Comet) buzzed traffic and knocked off a liquor store. The Santa’s wall of invincibility cracks further with evasive Dancer (Janine Klein) – here story of leaving Reindeer Ballet to pull for Santa ends with a hanging sentence and the sure knowledge the worst rumors are likely true. It takes Donner (Kevin Bee) to confess what Santa did to hurt Rudolph, and an impassioned Vixen (Michelle Kepner-Prueitt) to confirm the other half of the bad news – things really ARE rotten north of Denmark.

With an all star cast crammed on the tiny Breakthrough stage, this is a powerful and serious drama that builds behind a series of comic anecdotes until it punches you in the gut. Don't bring the kiddies, this is an adult story of debauchery and NOT suitable for a warm cup of cocoa and a plate of Oreos. Start with a belt of holiday Scotch and work up to the serious stuff afterwards. Thank you Breakthrough – some of us have been holidayed out for a month, and need some sordid gossip to cleanse our palettes.

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