Philadelphia Inquirer - December 15, 2006

Just the ticket
From edgy and hip to family fun, there's a play that's sure to please.

By Gene D'Alessandro
Inquirer Staff Writer

Offbeat and irreverent

The theatrical onslaught began long before the Thanksgiving turkey was carved, with the Act II Playhouse production of Every Christmas Story Ever Told, a spoof that features three men and a "reingoat" who tell holiday tales from around the world. (Due to its somewhat sharp edges, the show is not recommended for children under 13.)

Such irreverent fare typifies the season's more adventurous offerings - shoestring productions mounted by many of this region's young and hip collectives. The savagely funny The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, staged by BCKSEET Productions at the Society Hill Playhouse's Red Room, chronicles a North Pole scandal after one of Santa's reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. Rascally author Jeff Goode has already penned an angry follow-up, Seven Santas.

Two David Sedaris comedies, The Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings, are brought to the stage again by the youthful Flashpoint Theatre Company. Crumb, the nasty, hungover elf of Diaries, has become a December staple. Azuka Theatre's madcap 'Twas the Night follows staffers at a local TV station who try to perform the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" on live TV. And 1812 Productions goes all Jon Stewart with the sharp-edged This Is the Week That Is: Political Humor for the Holidays.