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The Eight: Reindeer Monologues

Shocking allegations against Santa and Mrs. Claus’ behavior are explored in this hysterical black comedy that has all of the reindeers offering testimony.

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Sara Laursen as Dancer in a scene from Jeff Goode’s “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” (Photo credit: Bernie Minoso)

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

Did Santa Claus rape Vixen, molest Rudolph and abuse everyone around him? Is Mrs. Claus an alcoholic nymphomaniac? These are among the searing allegations hysterically examined in playwright Jeff Goode’s black comedy, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues.

Mr. Goode’s structure is creatively simple, the eight reindeers offer their foul-mouthed sometimes conflicting testimony one by one. Rudolph is unable to appear as he is confined to a padded cell in a catatonic state. Goode’s writing is unabashedly crude, staunchly politically incorrect and often very funny. The play premiered in Chicago in 1994 and this production has assembled a terrific group of actors who each bring their distinctive comic skills to these goofy roles.

The alluring Sarah Spring is a saucy Vixen and she perfectly conveys the quandary women face in accusing men in power. With Joe Pesci-style bravado, Josh Bowen’s Comet is a feisty contrarian with his marvelous old-time New York accent. Reveling in Cupid’s unrestrained stereotypical gayness is the uproarious Jason Michael Dick wearing a pink ensemble. Cameron A. Tubbs is wonderfully Patton-like as the gruff Dasher. Tossing off many profane zingers,  Molly Megan Maynard really scores as Blitzen. Dancer is a Jewish former ballet dancer and is exquisitely played by Sara Laursen with dry wit. The hulking Rasik Ohal brings poignant depth to the part of Rudolph’s father Donner. Jason Garton’s Prancer is a winning portrait of smarmy show business narcissism living up to his nickname “Hollywood” as he recounts his stalled film career.

Jason Garton as Prancer AKA “Hollywood” in a scene from Jeff Goode’s “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” (Photo credit: Bernie Minoso)

Excellent antlers, sensational Cats-style makeup, eye-catching furry gloves with defined hooves and choice clothing selections are the tools that makeup and costume designer Ms. Laursen employs to suggestively depict the animal figures.

Set consultant Luciany German’s minimal assortment of lit-up Christmas trees provides an artfully stark landscape. Ginaury Vasquez’s lighting design is a steady stream of fluctuating brightness.

Director Andrew Benvenutis smooth staging realizes the material with fine straightforwardness. Mr. Benvenutisound design chiefly renders the snippets of familiar holiday pop songs used for the scene transitions to pleasing effect.

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is riotous alternative seasonal entertainment.

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (through January 3, 2018)

The Drama Club NYC

St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 46th Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call  800-447-7400 or visit http://www.thedramaclubnyc.org

Running time: 75 minutes with no intermission

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (648 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

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