It’s hard to believe that SANTASIA has been running in Los Angeles every holiday season for the past 23 years. This screwy holiday comedy classic, which comes directly out of the outlandish minds of Brothers Brandon and Shaun Loeser, presents 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. 2020 was a first: During the year of COVID-19 closures – the Brothers Loeser streamed an online show that came right into everyone’s living room. Finally, with COVID-19 beginning a slow retreat, it was back to the boards in 2021. Before a masked and vaccinated crowd, SANTASIA again presented its own special form of insanity – just what a pandemic-fatigued audience needed at that moment in time. And in a COVID-19 safe environment too. Then along came 2022 in true SANTASIA style.
To add the cherry on top, 2022’s SANTASIA mixes the old and new with imaginative artistry – and is funnier than ever. With the Brothers Loeser as creators, co-directors, and comic anchors, everyone else in the cast is shiny and new to Santasia, including Rusty Locke (actor, co-writer, associate producer), Tara Jean O’Brien (actor, co-writer), Adam Slemon (actor), and Terry Woodberry (actor). Directed by Shaun Loeser with choreography/co-direction by Tania Pearson-Loeser, SANTASIA remains one of the funniest and most iconoclastic holiday laugh-fests in Los Angeles. Clever animations written by Shaun Loeser and directed and animated by Michael Granberry still pop up between skits. I think it’s fair to say that SANTASIA remains a family affair, even if some of the family members have changed.
Despite the cast variations, some of the bits and pieces remain the same – like audience-favorites “Tobogganing,” “Jollyfellas,” and “Holiday House Lights.” Some will never grow old, like the “Full Monty” with the guys doing a sexy Chippendales’ staple with bumps, grinds, and laughs aplenty. And how about those beloved Nutcracker fairies pirouetting in their tulle tutus? Don’t forget about the penguin who was always told that he couldn’t fly – and decided to defy the odds and take to the sky? Some sketches are completely new, like “Granny’s Deviled Eggs.” 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. And they all have a special something in common – a hilarious and irresistible take on the holiday season.
It’s still hard to believe that only six 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). For a good laugh, don’t miss this charming, creative, outrageous, holiday hilarity – all courtesy of SANTASIA.
SANTASIA runs through December 25, 2022, with performances at various dates and times between December 9 and December 25. The Whitefire Theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423. Tickets are $35. For further information about dates and times and to make reservations, go online.