Philadelphia Weekly - December 11, 2002

Sexy Feast

Sodomy, bestiality, rape, oral sex, drugs, pedophilia, a catatonic icon and a drunken housewife with a penchant for draping tiny toy makers over her genitals may not sound like appropriate fodder for a Christmas story, but these and other tales of debauchery form the basis for Jeff Goode's The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, the latest production from Random Acts of Theater.

Goode's script is a humorous satire, with much of the disgruntled flying team portraying Santa as a sort of plump Caligula who takes great pleasure in having children on his lap and whipping helpless reindeer. (We won't even go into some of Mrs. Claus' unique perversions involving those poor elves.)

The production itself suffers somewhat from the lackluster direction of Jonathan Espolin, Jane Stojak and Dennis Smeltzer, along with several less than sterling performances from the New York cast (the show will have a local cast performing toward the end of the run). But there are also a number of accomplished and even exceptional performances to be found among the eight.

Especially fun are Judy DelGiudice as the cynical Hollywood, Amy Casey's defiant Blitzen, Tonya Cornelisse's sly Valley Girl portrayal of the idealistic Dancer and Bilgin Turker, whose riotous take on Rudolph's gruff but loving mom, Donner, steals the show.

>> Through Dec. 29. $20. Triangle Theater, 1220 N. Lawrence St. 215.763.0110