Penobscot Bay Pilot
January 4, 2013


The Eight Reindeer Monologues

By Chris Wolf

Dasher: "It's always been me - except for that one time - it's always been me..."

So opens the Everyman Repertory Theater's performance of Jeff Goode's The Eight Reindeer Monologues, taking place at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. Performances are Friday night, Jan. 4, and Sunday night, Jan. 6. 

Through the performances of the eight reindeer, "the big eight," they try to answer, or at least offer up an explanation as to what happened to Vixen? You would think it's a chance to turn Christmas fun into some irreverent folly, but that is far from the truth.

And this is a good time to remind you that the play is not for children.

The play deals with a dark side of sexual abuse and rape.

"It's incredibly relevant," said Artistic Director Paul Hodgson, who hails from Camden. "If it dealt with it in an irreverent way, that would be great, but there's a message there. There's a serious message in it."

Has Santa gone too far? Each of the eight reindeer has his or her own story to tell of what life at the North Pole is really all about. What it has done to them and how the current state of affairs could spell doom for the spirit or get pushed under the table as an unbelievable story.

Cupid: "And that whip. My God how he loves that whip. On Dancer, on Prancer, on Comet and Cupid, and Cupid, and Cupid, and Cupid. If it would have happened in the 50s nobody would listen."

Hodgson commented that the group will use the center more in the future for its performances.

"They [CMCA] asked us to stage a performance in here last year," he said. "It's closed in the winter, so I think this is something you will see us do quite regularly."

Director David Troup is formerly from New York City. He now resides in Rockland and works as marketing director for the Farnsworth Art Museum.

"I was a professional actor in New York," said David. "I thought I would give all that up when I moved here. I was surprised at the abundance of talent in the area."

Troup was in the original production of Reindeer Monologues in New York.

Dancer: "I mean it's a great contract. There's no vacation or sick days, but come on, you only work one day a year."

Vixen is the last to take the stage. She tells the sordid story of what really happened with Santa and we learn why Rudolph is in a padded cell that was alluded to during the performance, but never really explained. Sexual harassment, rape and a host of finger pointing brings the audience to a better understanding about what life at the North Pole might really be like. Interesting to watch and interesting to listen to, just to see what comes up next in the long litany of allegations.

Cast includes: Joseph Ritsch, as Cupid; David Troup, as Comet; Lou Carbonneau, as Dasher; Abby Norman, as Dancer; Paul Hodgson, as Donner; Jen Hodgson, as Blitzen; Ashley St. Pierre, as Vixen, and David Greenham, as Prancer/ Hollywood.