Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like naked people running around. (At least not where I come from. Your experience may vary.) If you like naked people (and who doesn’t?) and you like jokes about Santa, Hanukkah, Rudolph, Elves, and wrestlers (not necessarily in that order) then End Time Productions Naked Holidays is the show for you. Not only will you get skits, musical production numbers, wry commentary on the holidays and parodies of old favorites but you’ll get full frontal nudity that is both essential to the plot as well as completely gratuitous. It’s enough to jingle anyone’s bells, and then some.
Unlike prior productions this 5th year anniversary of Naked Holidays, which features “best of” skits as well as new material, has moved uptown for the momentous occasion; a fact which the cast gleefully acknowledges as they survey their surroundings with astonishment: “You guys! There’s no herpes on this floor!” After a bit of back and forth where they decide if it makes sense to get naked again this year the cast agrees that of course it does! And so it’s on with the show which is sponsored, in part, by GOD … who’s been bringing you naked people since the very beginning.
What follows is, I expect, an experience akin to being in the audience of a Saturday Night Live taping where some things are hilarious, some things are worth a giggle or two, some things last a bit too long and there are a few musical numbers. What makes this show different is (if I haven’t said it enough) the full nudity that is sprinkled throughout and then takes up the entire last ten minutes of the show.
Keep in mind – not all of the show is nude. But while you’re waiting for them to take it all off this talented group of folks will have you chuckling with some great holiday comedy skits.
A Very Special Hanukkah Special by Mark Harvey Levine is a Jewish-themed satire of It’s A Wonderful Life that manages to swirl in a little of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas for good measure. (“No one ever tried to steal Hanukkah!” Bob rails at the Christmas-obsessed passers-by). There’s even a shade of A Charlie Brown Christmas speech delivered by Bob’s wife, Tiny Tina. With wry comments and moments of brilliant parody this skit is sure to please everyone.
Fear the Nog by Rebecca Jane Stokes is where 1984 meets the North Pole. Elves are controlled by collars worn around their neck which give off an electrical charge at the first sign of “dangerous talk” – anything that smacks of dissension against Santa. Slowly the three elves begin to realize that they’ve been duped; “There is no ‘Hall of Prizes’!” one elf shouts hysterically.
The full-on nudity is introduced without fanfare in a musical interlude where naked singer and naked keyboard player do a fine rendition of Joni Mitchell’s River which is both beautiful and, um, naked.
Everyone knows the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, right? It takes a funny (and deeply disturbing) turn when Rudolph becomes Rudnick (written by Brad McEntire) who is not a very special reindeer but rather a very misunderstood unicorn who has a candle where his horn should be. Poor Rudnick — he’s not allowed to play twister (or any other Unicorn Games) with the other unicorn gals (who come off like a pack of Heathers). So how does Rudnick save the day? Not by guiding Santa’s sleigh, but by leading his three one-horned bitches into an ambush where his reindeer friends are ready to tear them to pieces while a cloaked chorus intones O Fortuna with rabid intensity. It’s how I picture the Tarantino remake, should he ever choose to fix his eyes on movies for the young ones.
But there’s more! Chris Johnston does Santa Baby — in Drag! With the ladies providing Tap Dancing! More kinda-naked makes an appearance in The First Noel as six luscious gals perform the living nativity scene with shepherd pasties and g-strings made of camels and sheep. (Trust me, it’s all very respectful).
Rudolph’s Law finds Santa going around ringing doorbells because “the law requires him to inform his neighbors that …” Yeah. (Shudder).
My favorite of the evening was Santa Christian – a brilliant pantomime done to Night Ranger’s Sister Christian which shows a young, eager elf arriving at her first day of work at Santa’s Workshop. She excitedly wedges her way in between two rather spiritless elves and virtually jumps up and down as she points out Santa across the room. Slowly, however, she is stripped of her innocence as she dutifully succumbs to the big guy’s sexual advances and fetishes, soon falling into a dull mechanical numbness just like all the other elves who came before her.
The whole shebang ends with the much-anticipated The Naked People Play by Stacy Lane which is the traditional Naked Holidays closer. A truly funny meta-play that spends much of the time commenting on the fact that no one in the audience is paying attention to the plot, they’re just watching the naked people because “They’re naked! And they’re unpredictable!”. Which about sums it up. While the two clothed characters vainly try to act their way through a breakup scene the rest of the cast joyfully cavorts in the nude doing things both absolutely mundane as well as completely ridiculous. “The audience won’t remember a bit of this story. They’ll just remember the naked people!”. Guilty! I wouldn’t have even remembered that line if I hadn’t taken the time to scribble it down, never taking my eyes off the naked people.
One part silly, one part sardonic and, by the end, one hundred percent naked, The 5th Annual Naked Holidays will have you grinning from ear to ear and clapping like mad for this group of players who will give you a show like you’ve never seen before.
If you’re tired of the same holiday fare, get down to Roy Arias and enjoy something new … and nude!
This “Best Of” Edition Moves to Midtown
directed by Russell Dobular, Matthew Kreiner, Melinda Prom, Robert Gonyo and Leal Vona musical director - Serena Miller choreographer - Tiffany Herriott December 8 – 31, 2011
December 8-10, 15-17, 19-22, & 27-30 at 8pm and December 11 & 18 at 7pm . Times Square Arts Center
Roy Arias Stage 4
300 West 43rd Street (at 8th Avenue, 4th Floor) . Tickets are $47.50 Call 212-352-3101 or Click Here to purchase