OC Arts & Culture
December 2, 2010
The Chance Theater's 7th annual production of "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" by Jeff Goode is more vulgar than your average Christmas story but not at all shoddy. Each monologue was cruder than the one before as the reindeer hashed out the rumor that a certain jolly, bearded man tried to rape one of his faithful, sleigh-pulling livestock. Although the night that I attended the crowded was rougher than a cat's tongue, by the end, the cast had the whole audience laughing and shaking their heads at the absurdity.Because of the, at first, quiet crowd, Casey Long as Dasher had the difficulty of warming them up. Luckily, Long was funny. Bob Simpson played Cupid, the only openly gay reindeer and clearly most peoples' favorite. A well-endowed Kyle Cooper played Prancer, who tells his side of the story of the Hollywood film, "Prancer." Blitzen was played by Jocelyn A. Brown, who had one of the best and funniest Irish accents I'd ever heard. And yes, that was a girl playing Comet. Alex Bueno did a good "yob"; I was seriously double-taking. Dancer was my favorite reindeer, played by Sarah Moreau. Moreau took on the most unique character, which made her stand out. (It seems many people when playing a comic role will just be loud, crazy, and SNL-ish. Moreau was contained and quirky.) Lewis Crouse played Donner, Rudolph's father. The red-nosed schizo was unable to attend. And Emily Clark played Vixen, the slut that caused the whole hoopla. Clark perfectly straddled, ahem, the ditzy blonde and vicious hothead, winning many deserved laughs without being too cliché. Because, you know, every time someone plays a Playboy modeling reindeer, they all do it the same.
"The Eight" has established itself as more than just a spin-off, especially at this theater. It is ferociously funny and not sloppy in the slightest. The Chance always handles its productions with a keen amount of professionalism. But to pull off this piece with that amount of concise vulgarity is a triumph all in itself. Hopefully next winter, The Eight will be as punctual in its trip to The Chance as it is every December 24 in its trip around the globe.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues runs at The Chance Theater till December 21st