Santa Claus Conquers the Martians This is the fourth go-round of the Maverick’s staging of the 1964 cult classic, which usually makes most of the lists of the worst films ever made. LAME index: 50. This is a big audience-pleaser for the Maverick, and at least the place has decided to use an offbeat show like this one instead of, say, It’s a Wonderful Life as its annual holiday offering. But no matter how campy a lampoon of a wonderfully horrible movie, it’s still a lot of trouble over a little fat man in a red suit. Maverick Theater, www.maverick.com, Dec. 4-27.
Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart, But the Very Next Day You Said You Were Gay Orange County’s gay-and-lesbian theater wheels out its “big, gay, Christmas spectacular” for the fourth straight year. LAME index: 35. Even if this features same-sex couples or sexually conflicted individuals and is an intentionally silly show that revels in stereotypes and satire, it’s still firmly in the Christmas camp (and extra LAME points for making George Michael’s voice turn on in our heads). Theatre Out, www.theatreout.org, Dec. 4-19.
The Lion In Winter James Goldman’s 1966 play is set during Christmas 1183 in the court of Henry II, the first king to seize the English throne under suspect circumstances, ushering in a daisy chain of dynastic struggles that would plague the sceptred isle for 600 years—and give Shakespeare a shitload to write about. LAME index: 0. Not a Santa hat or Jingle Bells in sight! Hunger Artists, hungerartists.net, Dec. 4-20.