By Dave Barton
By LP Hastings
By Sarah Bennett
By LP Hastings
By Jena Ardell
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
By Joel Beers
Courtesy Vanguard TheaterFuck Christmas. Fuck presents. Fuckeggnog. Fuck mistletoe. Fuck Jesus. Fuck Charlie Brown. Fuck Christmas trees. Fuck The Nutcracker. Fuck Jimmy Stewart. Fuck elves. Fuck Tiny Tim. Fuck Christmas wreaths. Fuck Frosty. Fuck shopping malls and the people who shop in them.
And fuck Santa fucking Claus, too. The reindeer are fucking pissed off, and that sick perverted fuck is gonna pay.
Such is the aura of resentment that lingers in the air during The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Jeff Goode's wickedly funny 1994 play about the darker side of fame—well, mythical fame, anyway. Goode has given Santa's Gang of Eight some very human personality traits, and the actors are given ample stage time to flesh their characters out. There's Dasher (Casey Long), an overly testosteroned buck's buck, who still can't get over the time when Rudolph got picked to guide the sleigh that one foggy Christmas Eve. Cupid (Dimas Diaz) is, of course, the gay one, who's got the dirt on everybody, especially his red-suited boss ("A sex crime waiting to happen—do you know how many tight young asses he's had across his lap? All of them!"). Prancer (Michael Irish) now goes by the name Hollywood, practicing yoga between acting auditions. Blitzen (Alex Bueno) is a militant feminist lesbian. Comet (Carter Mason) giggles about the times he used to fly coked-up. Dancer (Sarah Moreau) bakes cookies all day and bitches about being trapped in a job she hates. Donner (Richard Comeau) is in a hospital, waiting to find out the status of his son, the never-seen Rudolph (Rudolph, it turns out, was just a young retarded buck Santa took advantage of; he's now locked in a padded stall and mumbles about penises all day). And Vixen (Heather Howe) carps about being on the receiving end of Santa's bestiality fetish—an event each reindeer alludes to in leading up to Vixen's closing monologue.
So, yeah, it ain't exactly The Glory of Christmas. Which is why Monologues is such a delicious hoof-stomper, flipping a jingle-belled bird to the season's most hallowed secular icon. Goode wraps it up in such a way that you can't help thinking if the whole Santa legend were real and his reindeer could really talk, something like this would be inevitable, especially in a culture like ours, infatuated with scandal and celebrity.
What's perplexing is that Monologues is only being performed weekends in the late afternoon and early evening, a sort of black-sheep cousin to the Chance's more mainstream production of It's A Wonderful Life, which gets a usual prime-time slot. But fuck that—this is the better holiday bet.
THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES AT THE CHANCE THEATER, 5552 E. LA PALMA AVE., ANAHEIM HILLS, (714) 777-3033. SAT., 4 P.M.; SUN., 6 P.M. THROUGH DEC. 19. $17-$20.