JEFFREY SOLOMON ROCKED IN “SANTA CLAUS IS COMING OUT”
Jeffrey Solomon rocked in “Santa Claus is Coming Out”
Jeffrey Solomon brought his one person show to the Eureka Theatre for a very limited six days from December 19 thru December 24th. One could have wished longer since his 75 minutes mock-u-mentary on the secret romantic life of the holiday icon was great. This would have been wonderful if it had played in a smaller theatre such as the intimate theater at the New Conservatory Theatre Center since it would have reached more persons in the Gay community.
Jeffrey Solomon wrote this piece in 2009 where it played Off-Broadway. The New York Times said “it’s delightful surprise, this isn’t a clumsy parody but an imaginative tale that really is about a boy’s realization that he is different.” . The playwright was the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor Solo Performer at the National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Award festival. He also won the Best of the National Gay and Lesbian Festival award.
An elderly Jewish man (Jeffrey Solomon) straight out of “Guys and Dolls “comes onto the stage looking like he just came from the Carnegie Deli to tell the audience about what happen to him as a boy. He relates as a boy his gender atypical gift request to the North Pole was denied. A series of heart-felt letters from him finally nudge Santa Claus out of the closet and into the culture wars. The 75 minute solo act becomes a theatrical documentary in the mold of Anna Deveare Smith and the Laramie Project. Jeffrey takes on the role of all of the characters including little Gary, his confused mom and angry dad, actress wife, his Agent, his longtime companion Giovanni Geppetto an Italian toy maker and Mary Ellen a conservative activist who is fighting to institute a Santa NO FLY zone. He beautifully morphs into each character. It’s a tour de force of acting.
The fast pace acting also had great projections designed by David Derr that were an asset to this parody along with original music by Andrew Inghavet. This satire is very much in tune with the current time especially the “parents right” movement to keep gay issues out of the class whereas some educators want to speak to children more openly about LGBT issues and gay teen suicides and the accusation from social conservatives that say these educators are just thinly veiled attempts to promote gay lifestyles to children.