Reindeer Retrace Their Footsteps


By Daniella Walsh | LB Indy

Little did local actors Ava Burton and Mark Miller know when they first planned it, how timely their second staging of The Reindeer Monologues at the BC Space Gallery, would become.

Written by Jeff Goode, the play pokes sharp-edged fun at Santa Claus, the beloved cultural icon believed to be delivering gifts to kids of all ages on Christmas morning via reindeer driven sleigh.

Ava Burton and Mark Miller take on roles as reindeer for a dark-humored Christmas show.
Ava Burton and Mark Miller take on roles as reindeer for a dark-humored Christmas show.

As last year, it is a two-person production centered on the exposure of Santa as a deer abusing boss from hell and as a pervert sexually abusing his antlered help.

This year, as anyone not stuck on the North Pole knows, the reputation of an equally beloved, paternalistic cultural icon, Bill Cosby, has been tarnished by alleged sex abuse revelations.

The “Monologues…” are being told from the point of view of the reindeer, including the one with the famous birth defect, and another exposed in her own right as a media hound.

More, really, should not be given away here. Suffice to say the reindeer crew including Dasher, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen use humor to diffuse their ordeal, which includes seasonal labor law violations, a rape accusation and the revelation that Mrs. Claus is an unchecked boozer.

“This show is the same as last year’s and we are bringing it back by popular demand,” said Burton, adding that last year’s performance filled the gallery to capacity. Instead of just one performance, the duo will perform this year on Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.

“There will be more comedy, more humor and more depth than last year,” said Burton.

“It is definitely not a show that paints Christmas as perfect,” said Miller. “It’s a dark comedy with a funny take on current social themes.”

“The reindeers’ tale is one of exploitation and excess, the antithesis of Christmas as most like to think of it,” said Burton.

“It is meant to be funny, dark humor perhaps, but funny nonetheless,” she added. “The secret is that the audience has to believe that the reindeer are real, that Santa is real. But, it’s an adult show, definitely not for children.”

Burton, a British-born actress, first met Miller when she volunteered at the Friendship Shelter where he is the associate executive director. In their search for acting opportunities, they decided to create their own, they said.

The Reindeer Monologues, Thursdays Dec. 11 and 18, 7:30 p.m. BC Space Gallery, 235 Forest Ave. Tickets: donation [email protected]   310-948-5798


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