Santasia 2021 Review – Twenty-two Years and Still Going Strong

Chey Kennedy and Rusty Locke in SANTASIA - Photo by Brandon Loeser
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It’s hard to believe that SANTASIA has been running in Los Angeles every holiday season for the past 22 years. This screwy holiday comedy classic comes directly out of the outlandish minds of brothers Brandon and Shaun Loeser, who present comedy sketches and musical parodies coupled with heartfelt sentiment and classic Rankin and Bass inspired Claymation movies. Every year has its own unique elements reflecting the year that went before. Last year was a first:  During the year of COVID-19 closures – they streamed an online show that came right into everyone’s living rooms. But this year it’s back to the boards. Before a masked and vaccinated crowd, SANTASIA again presents its own special form of insanity – just what a pandemic-fatigued audience needs at this moment in time. And in a COVID-19 safe environment too.

Goodfellas Rich Warren, Rusty Locke, and Shaun Loeser – Photo by Brandon Loeser

To add the cherry on top, 2021’s SANTASIA is almost completely new and even funnier than before. Everybody’s beloved Italian Godfather (white bearded Bobbo Natale at his whispery scariest) is back – and it wouldn’t be Christmas without the cherished Nutcrackers fairies decked out in tulle tutus. Have any of you ever given or received a ta-ta-dah as a gift? And then we have the toboggan ride of the era as an adventurous duo zip past snowy evergreens and a lurking Mr. Bigfoot to have the snowball fight of the century. What about the penguin who was always told that he couldn’t fly – and decided to defy the odds and take to the sky? Let’s not forget the eminently sexy Chippendale dancing strippers who thrill the females in the audience. Or how about the totally average Everyman family enjoying Christmas morning around the tree – just before the internecine battle begins. Too numerous to describe adequately, suffice it to say that SANTASIA has done it again with ingenious sketches to delight any left-over Scrooges or Grinches in town.

Shaun Loeser, Brandon Loeser, and Lon Gowan – Photo by Brandon Loeser

It’s still hard to believe that only seven performers telegraph so many glances, groans, and guffaws headed by the multi-talented Brandon and Shaun Loeser (producers, actors, co-writers, and chief bottle-washers). They are joined by the talented SANTASIA performing crew, Lon Gowan, Chey Kennedy, Rusty Locke, Darren Mangler, and Rich Warren. As always, the set is a charming Christmas-card view of the season – with a large background screen set up to play those clever little filmed and animated bits. Kudos to lighting designer Wynn Zucchero, musical director/composer Stacey Quinealty, and choreographer Tania L. Pearson-Loeser (who wears quite a few hats in this production). For a good laugh, don’t miss this charming, creative, outrageous, holiday hilarity – all courtesy of SANTASIA.

Lon Gowan, Brandon Loeser, and Chey Kennedy – Photo by Brandon Loeser

SANTASIA runs through December 25, 2021, with performances at various dates and times between 12/3 and 12/25/21. The Whitefire Theatre is located at 13500 Venture Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. Tickets are $30. To get further information about dates and times and to make reservations, go online.


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