The Baker Orange - December 8, 2000

'Reindeer Monologues' spins Christmas in new direction

Sarah Swank / A&E Editor

"The Eight: Reindeer Monologues," by Jeff Goode, gives a disturbing twist to Christmas. But this show, though very basic in terms of costumes (characters in plain clothes and antlers) and set, turned out to be a complicated plot full of emotional turmoil.

"Reindeer Monologues" begins with Dasher (Jason Bradbury), the first reindeer, alluding to the wrong doings of Santa. Immediately, the obscenities begin, but all in good taste and much humor. Cupid (Zack Lambert) is the next reindeer to tell his story, and being a flamboyantly gay reindeer, this performance is absolutely hysterical. Cupid very vividly describes Santa and all of his sadistic ways, and has no qualms about revealing the real side of the North Pole family.

Hollywood (Corie Dugas) is the first female reindeer introduced and describes herself as the "most famous" of them all. This character wasn't quite as striking as the other characters despite the fact that she is supposed to be obnoxious and a "wannabe" movie star. To follow this female reindeer, and yes there are a few of them, is Blitzen (Mia Wright). Blitzen portrays the feminist view of rape and Wright does an excellent job as her character. She insists that the "world needs to know what Santa did wrong."

Then it's Comet's (Brendan O'Bryhim) turn, and although the bad boy persona of Comet was quite amusing (a reindeer on cocaine can never be anything less), he seemed to lack the attitude and the chip on his shoulder that needed to be conveyed more strongly. Dancer (Jennifer Ward) followed Comet, and to quite a contrast. She was a very wishy-washy character and just didn't know who to believe despite her own bad experiences with Santa. This was a point in the performance though when the mood began to become slightly more emotional instead of just funny.

Donner's Messenger (Laura Rose) put a bit of a change in the mood, not only because it wasn't another reindeer, but because the message she delivered was a very disturbing one describing Santa molesting Rudolph. Although, it would have been better if a reindeer could have been portrayed, I think Rose did what she could with her part, since there weren't enough males to fill the roles in the show. And finally Vixen (Emily Drew) made her appearance. Drew really convinced the audience of her character, and made quite an emotional stir with her performance.

After seeing "Reindeer Monologues" it is quite possible to not be able to think of Santa and his reindeer the same as you did as a child. But with all of the humor and bizarre twist of a normal Christmas story, it's a much appreciated change from all the fluffiness of the Christmas season.

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