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Disgruntled Elves and Rockin’ Mamas

By Dena Hill

Senior Editor

 

WaterTower Theatre continues its tradition of holiday entertainment

 

Jenny Thurman, one of the singers in Rockin’ Christmas Party at WaterTower Theatre, flaunts her really big hair.


Photo: Scott Guenther

WaterTower Theatre kicks off its Holiday Extravaganza this week with three seasonal shows, playing concurrently in different venues at the Addison Theatre Centre. Two of the shows, Rockin’ Christmas Party and The Santaland Diaries, are returning as crowd pleasers from previous years. New this year is the holiday show, Flocked, from the PUNCH DRUnK Comedy troupe.

“It’s really an exciting thing that we can have all three performance spaces being utilized at the same time,” said the theatre’s producing artistic director Terry Martin, pointing out that the mix of returning and new shows offers something for all tastes.

“Rockin’ Christmas is the show for everybody,” Mr. Martin said. It’s a spoof of television variety shows, he explained. “You kind of have to think of the Sonny and Cher show with a little bit of Dean Martin and Tammy Wynette thrown in, and lots of big hair. We spend our wig budget on Rockin’ Christmas Party.”

Now in its fourth year for the WaterTower Theatre, Rockin’ Christmas Party features Top 40 hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and it has played to packed houses. Changes to shows each year make it a new experience for audience members who have attended in previous years, Mr. Martin explained. “We make costume changes to the shows, set design changes. You’re not going to see the exact show that you saw before.” 

The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris of National Public Radio is returning for the third year at the theatre as well. Billed as “a wickedly funny antidote to all of that holiday cheer,” the show follows an out-of-work actor who takes a job at Macy’s Santaland for the holidays. Needless to say, it’s not Miracle on 34th Street. “It’s really for adults and mature audiences,” Mr. Martin noted.

PUNCH DRUnK Comedy troupe’s holiday show, Flocked, adds new holiday fare at the theater this year. Flocked features original, satirical yuletide sketches and songs. Show highlights include such themes as the consequences of holiday binge drinking, Jolly Old St. Crystal Gale, and bloodthirsty lawn ornaments. “It’s a holiday improv sketch comedy show with four really great comedians,” Mr. Martin said. (The theater notes that Flocked also contains adult language and situations and is intended for mature audiences only.) 

Now in its eighth season, WaterTower Theatre is the only professional theatre in North Dallas, Mr. Martin said. “We are actually sort of descendants of the Addison Community Theatre which started here in the ‘70s,” he explained. The theater became semi-professional in the ‘80s as the Addison Centre Theatre, he said. It was reformed, reorganized, and re-named the WaterTower Theatre in 1996, and a new board of directors and staff were brought in at that time with a “change in mission and focus,” according to Mr. Martin.

“We’ve grown to the point that we have a subscriber base and recognition,” he said. The theatre has more than 2,000 subscribers and an audience base of more than 21,000 annual patrons.

Rockin’ Christmas Party is running Dec. 4 - 21 on the Main Stage of the Addison Theatre Centre. The Santaland Diaries is running Dec. 4 - 21 in the Stone Cottage of the Addison Theatre Centre. Flocked is running Dec. 5 - 20 in the Studio Theatre at the Addison Theatre Centre.

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