The Stranger

The Stranger - December 11-17, 2003

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues

Open Circle Theater

Through Dec 20. In The Eight, Santa's flying reindeer give grouchy, gossipy, "adult-oriented" behind-the-scenes dish of the North Pole scene. Sound trite? A trifle obvious? Predictable, yet not without the slight promise of moderate amusement? It is--until they yank out the coup de crap: Santa Claus is a reindeer fucker and child molester. Mrs. Claus is an alcoholic whore. Santa has raped one of the sexier reindeer (who's rumored to be a lesbian and a slut), and has presumably raped you, but the event was so horrible you blocked it out. The raped reindeer is pressing charges. Ha ha ha.

"Emotionally revolting and completely unnecessary" is a severe observation, so allow me to temper this criticism by saying that Marty Mukhalian (as Dancer) and Dusty Warren (Prancer, AKA "Hollywood") gave tight, smart, funny performances despite the premise, which you may have guessed I didn't find funny at all. It seems inevitable that, in a misguided bid for edginess or sociopolitical relevance or even dark farce, some poor soul itching to write an audience-generating Christmas show would conjure up this sort of thing (congrats to author Jeff Goode). But The Eight is just a bad idea, grabbed by the jingle bells and run into the frozen ground. ADRIAN RYAN