Thursday, December 15, 2011


Christmas has been promoted as a holiday of goodwill and kindness and magic and so of course there are people who think it's cutting edge to do plays about Christmas that are ugly and crass.

My friend Bruce is performing in THE EIGHT: Reindeer Monologues which I haven't gone to see yet, and really don't want to, although I guess I will have to, in order to support Bruce.

According to its author's web site THE EIGHT has been around for almost twenty years. It is extremely popular and by the description on the author's site, a particularly nasty piece of business:
A dark, dark Christmas comedy. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa's eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment.

As mass media descends upon the event, the other members of the sleigh team demand to share their perspectives, and a horrific tale of corruption and perversion emerges, which seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself.

With each deer's confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer. ...and murkier and murkier.

Yeah, hardy har har.

At least this play has the distinction of being fairly original when it was first written a generation ago. But unfortunately so many people out there writing plays still harbor the illusion that making Christmas nasty, ugly and crass is all kewl and edgy.

No, you assholes, it's not.

And thanks to this ugly Christmas meme, when I did a call for "winter holidays" for the December play of the month for NYCPlaywrights, MOST of the plays that deal with Christmas are in the ugly Christmas mode. Let's see... we have the following "Christmas" plays:

  • Two brothers let mom die on the floor on Christmas eve
  • Blitzen has been downsized and is waiting tables
  • Santa's workshop is a Chinese sweatshop
  • Someone is murdered on Christmas eve
  • Some people kill Santa's reindeer, replace Mrs. Claus with a hoe
  • Santa is a "tyrannical drunken overlord"

Each one of them went right into my computer's trash bin.