Santasia – A Holiday Comedy runs December 1 – December 25 at the Whitefire Theatre.
This is a very, very special holiday show…
In its 18th year, this dedicated and highly creative group of actors take us on a tour of their Christmas imaginations, with slightly warped and highly entertaining seasonally fueled stories, songs and dance extravaganzas.
The show is a series of sketches, ingeniously interspersed with claymation and live action films created by brothers Shaun and Brandon Loeser with dance numbers choreographed by Tania Pearson-Loeser. We are entertained beautifully by a festively inclined group of six actors, Shaun and Brandon Loeser, Lon Gowan, Darren Mangler, Tony Nunes and Jim O’Brien with their amusingly depraved and heartfelt seasonal laments and salutations.
It’s quite a ride with more than 25 sketches, songs and films. But through the manic and hilarious take offs and hauntingly familiar family fiascoes runs a thread of love. Love for Christmas, love for each other and love for giving us their own very funny version of what Christmas really means to them all. One moment you are laughing and snorting and the next you are wiping a tear from your eye and remembering those who will be missed around the tree this year.
It’s ingenuous really. Part Monty Python, part Peanuts, part Home Alone, part It’s a Wonderful Life. But all heart.
Santasia is the kind of mad cap production that everyone should go to every year, if only to see what on earth they have come up with this time. It should become your new tradition in fact. Bring your kids (over 18, please), bring your family and bring your friends, because everyone on stage seems to be just that important to each other. Through the dressing up and crazy dancing and singing you can feel the deep connection these men have. It’s what makes everything work so well in fact, that fondness and the ability to support each other’s ‘crazy.’
There are sketches about festive house decorating, dysfunctional dinners, a brilliant “Stranger Things” take off and classic and nimbly performed musical numbers with some serious dance sequences all exquisitely funny, all in wonderfully inappropriate costumes. Just fantastic!
If you go to any Christmas show this year it really has to be Santasia.
Running from December 1 – December 25. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 3PM and 8PM
The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91423
Shaun Loeser, Brandon Loeser, Lon Gowan, Darren Mangler, Tony Nunes and Jim O’Brien – Rusty Locke (understudy)
Wynn Zucchero, Tania Pearson-Loeser, Stacey Quinealty