The un-Christmas tale is entertainment de choix for the holiday disenchanted. In the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia version, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney realize just how much of their Christmas past they've been suppressing. From the revolving door Santa brothel Day's mother runs to McElhenney's house-to-house, breaking-and-entering White Elephant gift exchange, the show epitomizes the un-saccharine side of the holidays.
As does Jeff Goode's play, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, which brings the typical Santa and reindeer cast of characters into the un-Christmas fold with the sordid tale of Claus' downfall. Daisy's Madhouse, the troupe behind the blood-soaked Evil Dead: The Musical, brings the story to the stage, serving up the second year of this irreverent production.
This isn't your typical candy cane and gumdrops story. Set at the North Pole, Kris Kringle proves that life imitates art when a media scandal erupts over charges of sexual harassment levied against him—Herman Cain, anyone? The plot thickens as, one by one, the eight reindeer come forward with allegations against the rotund merrymaker's sexual deviance and authoritarian rule.
Rotating through the cast of familiar family friendly reindeer, the play puts the horned characters on stage in Death of a Salesman/Willy Loman-style monologues. Cast members tell stories of their depraved lunatic boss, commiserate with Mrs. Claus and depart from the otherwise rosy, Coca-Cola version of Christmas.