Shepherd Express - December 7, 2000

In Review


Santa Assault

BY Daniel Blask

In Tandem Productions brings energy and assuredness to a dirty little play, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (through Dec. 22 at Walker's Point Center for the Arts). It's an alternative to cheerier holiday fare that offers big laughs for people who don't mind seeing Christmas customs get the middle finger. The premise-that Santa has been accused of sexually assaulting the reindeer Vixen-unfolds through monologues as each member of the reindeer team who pulls Santa's sleigh gives his or side of the story from the witness box, with numerous tangents and non-sequitors.

While Jeff Goode's script meanders and winds, it gets funnier, more lewd and more bizarre where it could get cutesy or expositional. Director Chris Flieller follows suit by navigating his actors' performances far north of normal, with energy levels well in the red for the duration. Some moments go over the top, and some fall flat, but many find laughs. A few of the monologues-most notably those by Stacey Meyer as the reindeer equivalent of a nice Jewish girl, Timothy Reynolds as the father of the now-insane Rudolph, and Tiffany Boeke as the victim in focus, Vixen-find pockets so sincere and empathetic we forget that the actors delivering them are wearing paper antlers.