New City Chicago - November 30, 2007

7 Santas

Jeff Goode's latest Christmas-season offering plays like a bad "Saturday Night Live" sketch; it's vulgar, uninspired and cliché, winking and nodding all the while. Santa's been forced into rehab, and the audience is welcomed into the theater as attendants at an AA meeting where seven incarnations of Old St. Nick have gathered to ramble on about the woes of their profession. Goode seems desperate to show us how funny he is, and it's the death of what could otherwise (maybe?) be a fairly entertaining Yuletide spoof. The first act consists of each Santa delivering a long monologue, one after the other, each a broad character sketch peppered with just enough pedophilia and "motherfuckers" to make it, I guess, "edgy." But the script allows for no real interaction between the characters onstage, a shame considering that director Robert Bouwman has an ensemble of clearly talented actors who are working very hard in service of a script that doesn't deserve their efforts.

Valerie Jean Johnson