Reindeer tell of life with Santa

Posted 11/26/11

They prance in distinctive ways, have shiny black noses (no Rudolph tonight) and are clearly not a cohesive, cooperative crew of reindeer, as legend …

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Reindeer tell of life with Santa


They prance in distinctive ways, have shiny black noses (no Rudolph tonight) and are clearly not a cohesive, cooperative crew of reindeer, as legend would have them. They are a collection of stylish, skilled actors.

The set for “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” is carefully set awry with a fallen Christmas tree; a headless doll; a broken, striped North Pole (with a note to repair by 2013); and TV screens showing Radio North Pole. Frosty the reporter says Santa’s not speaking — but Dasher will speak. (Eventually each of them speaks alone.)

It’s nearly Christmas and the elves are on strike as the Edge Theatre opened to a Nov. 18 sold out house.

Playwright, screenwriter, award winner, cynic Jeff Goode introduces Dasher, Donner, Dancer, Vixen, Blitzen, Hollywood, Comet and Cupid — one at a time — to tell their stories about life at Santa’s workshop.

While funny part of the time, they’re a fairly nasty herd. With each, we get an appropriate “deer in the headlights” look to close out the monologue.

Dasher (Mike Kienker) appears, scowling. “One time, I wasn’t lead foggy Christmas Eve... I don’t want to talk about it.” He continues to talk about “fat boy’s” misdeeds and stomps off.

To be followed by a prancing Cupid (Eric Ross) who overplays the gay bit and claims Mrs. S has made advances... but not Santa.

Hollywood, actor Scott Bellot, nattily dressed with shades and scarf, offers his slant on what goes on at the workshop in a different style.

Donner (James O’Hagen Murphy) rails against the Rudolph movie and claims racism in the film industry, where no reindeer has ever been nominated for an award. Donner wants to make a movie. “If Vixen sells her story to the network...”

Kirsten Deane, as Blitzen, announces “The sleighride is over — jolly fat pervert!” End of Act I.

Act II opens with more news announcements (Murphy is the newscaster) and a story of a Christmas Crisis in Crumpet City.

We meet a frowning Comet, a tough guy biker type who says he belonged to Hell’s Herd as a young buck. He has found religion, sort of, and wears a chain and heavy cross, while crossing himself at every mention of St. Nick, who saved his life.

Dancer (Rachel Graham) enters en pointe, but prancing too. She talks about why you’ve never seen a reindeer ballet and refuses to participate in the strike. Moves like a ballerina through her scene. Seems especially vulnerable.

Donner (James O’Hagen Murphy) says he was an unemployed herd deer when Santa appeared and told him his son Rudolph would be displayed.

Glamorous, wounded Vixen tells of Mrs. Santa’s intense jealousy and dislike.

“I gave at the office,” she said, adding that she’d asked Blitzen not to go through with the strike — “Goodbye.”

Each monologue is a self-contained package, although there are cross-references among stories. For the audience who has had a fill of saccharinity, this may be an answer, although there is an overriding ick element. Edgy, yes.

“The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” by Jeff Goode plays through Dec. 18 at Edge Theater, 9797 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood. Rick Yaconis, of Highlands Ranch, directs. Special performance New Year’s Eve, followed by a party ($30). Performances: 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $18/$14. For more information: or 303-232-0363.


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