Xmas Unplugged: The Reason for the Season/The Night Before Christmas
For his first holiday season as Artists Repertory Theatre’s new artistic director, Dámaso Rodriguez shunned roasted old chestnuts in favor of a double helping of spiked contemporary work. “I think of these as legitimate plays that happen to be set on Christmas Eve,” he says. First up is a world-premiere production of Matt Pelfrey’s The Reason for the Season, a one-act about a couple who hold Kris Kringle captive to negotiate over their kid’s gifts. After intermission comes the notoriously dark British playwright Anthony Nielsen’s The Night Before Christmas, which has nothing to do with the poem and stars a junkie claiming to be an elf. “It’s Miracle on 34th Street meets Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” says Rodriguez.