Huntsville Times Thursday, December 6, 2007

Renaissance seasonal treat blows whistle on toy guy

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Renaissance Theatre's "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" has become somewhat of a cult classic in Huntsville.

This year, Renaissance has an additional Christmas gift to throw in with the show, "Seven Santas," which was written by the same playwright, Jeff Goode.

The two one-act plays are drop-dead funny, said Criss Ashwell with Alpha Stage Productions at Renaissance.

"If you're tired of the sugary sweet holidays, these plays are the antidote," she said. "They're not for children under 16."

"The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" is about eight whistle-blowing reindeer who take the stage to discuss a terrible scandal that has polarized the North Pole. Once the scandal erupts, the mass media descend and tales of corruption abound, implicating everyone from the smallest elf to Santa himself.

Contrary to what people may think, "Seven Santas" is not Santa's retaliation to the whistle-blowing deer, but a look at who Santa is, was and will be, Ashwell said.

"And it's just as sick and twisted as 'The Eight.' It's fantastic," she said. "Sentenced to rehab for a not-so-minor traffic violation, Santa finds himself in a detox program run by the estranged Mrs. Claus. Santa's desperate struggle to conceal the truth about his arrest uncovers another sordid secret that could mean the end of Christmas as we know it. This time, it's Santa's turn to speak, and Christmas will never, ever be the same."

Ashwell, who will direct and produce the show, said Goode was grateful to Renaissance Theatre for "taking the leap of producing the play this season."

"It's always a risk doing a new play - especially sight unseen," Goode wrote to Ashwell. "And my work as a playwright would be impossible without theatricians like yourself. Thank you."

Reservations for the show are highly recommended as just about every show was sold out last year. To make reservations, call 536-3117. For more information on Renaissance Theatre, visit

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