Christmas in the Buff
By HOLLY WALL, 12/19/2007
I also headed to the Nightingale this weekend to get me into the Christmas spirit. Even the 50 Swats Collective was taking a different turn with its holiday show. Instead of The Eight Reindeer Monologues, the ever-popular, ever-raunchy original show of Christmases past, the group opened Unwrapped, a collection of monologues and short scenes centered on a holiday theme.
Now, I'm used to walking into this small, dark theater and being as far removed from tradition as possible. So you can imagine my surprise when I entered to hear what sounded like an off-key children's chorus singing, "Oh, come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem..." More Christmas carols followed.
I had been warned that this show would be a little tamer than the ones I'm used to seeing at Nightingale, and this was partly true. Each act, divided into 12 and 10 pieces, respectively, had just enough truth, just enough filth and just enough Christmas spirit to put anyone in the holiday mood. Dare I say, there were even moments I almost got a warm, fuzzy feeling in my belly.
But the show was never overly sentimental. The pieces that fell into this warm/fuzzy category still had a point, still made a statement. And they were as well-written and well-performed as anything the 50 Swats has done.
There were pieces about picking out the perfect gift, about the horrors of holiday shopping, about the origins of Christmas and about loving the members of your family for the dysfunctional, manic-depressive assholes they are.
And then there were the ones about Jesus being someone's gay bitch lover, prostitution and aliens. Really, it was a nice balance.
Unwrapped continues this weekend, Dec. 20-22, at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. 4th St. Showtime is at 8pm, and tickets are $8. For those and other information, visit www.nightingaletheater.com or call 633-8666.