Santasia Review – Have a Santastic Holiday

Omar Heywrd and Tara Jean O'Brien in SANTASIA - Photo by Brandon Loeser
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The holidays are here again – and SANTASIA is back for its twenty-fourth year. And not a moment too soon. For all you cultists, there have been a few changes in 2023 – but not too many. They don’t want to spoil the show! Omar Heyward is back, a veteran who bowed out for a couple of years while he was working on “Black Panther.” There are four new sketches and a new musical number. There are also lots of uproarious repeats. Let’s face it: a production as hilarious, nostalgic, and entertaining as SANTASIA pleases us every time and brings back holiday memories amid the chuckles.

Brandon Loeser, Darren Mangler, Shaun Loeser, Lon Gowan, Rusty Locke, and Omar Heyward – Photo by Michael Duisenberg

The brothers Loeser (Brandon and Shaun) are back as co-producers, actors, co-directors, and co-writers; Brandon is also in charge of technology. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. Actors Tara Jean O’Brien, Adam Slemon, and Omar Heyward share space with co-writer/associate producer Rusty Locke, choreographer/co-writer/producer/assistant director Tania L. Pearson-Loeser, musical director/composer Stacey Quinealty, and associate producer/lighting designer Wynn Zucchero. It’s a creative team that’s more like a family that gets together every year for the holidays.

Brandon Loeser, Shaun Loeser, Rusty Locke, Darren Mangler, and Lon Gowan – Photo by Michael Duisenberg

Skits are clever, rowdy, side-splitting, and definitely not politically correct. From everyone’s favorite Christmas memory to life on the North Pole to Goodfella’s holiday cheer – and let’s not forget the titillating manly montys or the toboggan ride to hell – SANTASIA is the funniest show around. For those of you who are Jerry Springer fans, the Nativity scene will generate guffaws equal to no other. And remember, penguins don’t fly, and tutus don’t a ballerina make. Music, film, opera, dance – nothing is safe when the SANTASIA crew get hold of it.

Omar Heyward, Shaun Loeser, Darren Mangler, Rusty Locke, and Brandon Loeser – Photo by Michael Duisenberg

SANTASIA is the perfect holiday entertainment for the humorously inclined. Even after 24 years, the cast remains enthusiastic and energetic; and the creative juices keep flowing. The guys at SANTASIA are already eagerly preparing for their twenty-fifth anniversary in 2024!

SANTASIA runs through December 23, 2023, with performances at various dates and times in December. The Whitefire Theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, go online. That’s where you’ll find available dates and times.


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