Sunday, May 19, 2024
EntertainmentTheatre

‘The Santa Closet’ explores gender identity in children, outs Santa for the holidays

From Tuesday, December 3 to Sunday, December 22, Houses on the Moon Theater Company will proudly present The Santa Closet. Written and performed by Jeffrey Solomon (Building Houses on the Moon, Tara’s Crossing) and directed by Joe Brancato (Daniel’s Husband), The Santa Closet is an updated version of Mr. Solomon’s acclaimed solo play Santa Claus is Coming Out, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2009. 

On the 10th anniversary of the 2009 production, this new version will reflect the advances and nuances in our understanding of LGBTQ lives, while remaining as timely 10 years later as when it first broke ground. The show will be performed at Teatro Circulo in Manhattan’s East Village. 

In The Santa Closet, little Gary’s gender atypical gift request, sent to the North Pole, is denied. A series of subsequent heart-felt letters from the child nudge Santa Claus out of the closet, and right into the center of a heated culture war. 

The Santa Closet was inspired by a debate about discussing LGBTQ issues with children. Jeffrey Solomon, a theatrical documentarian in the mold of Anna Deveare Smith, lovingly sends up the form, purporting to have interviewed – and portraying – all the key players in the scandal known as “Santa-Gate.”

“There have been great advances in LGBTQ rights and increased visibility in the past decade, and this is now reflected in the play. However, in many ways, discussing queer issues with children in much of the country is taboo. And of course, as of yet, there are still no queer main characters on any show or movie for young children. The Santa Closet imagines what would happen if this conversation was forced upon us, by literally having it come down our chimneys.”

– Jeffrey Solomon

The New York Times has referred to the play “A delightful surprise”, stating, “This isn’t a clumsy parody, but a sensitive, imaginative tale that really is about a boy’s realization that he is different. Mr. Solomon portrays an amazing range of characters, all of them beautifully.”  

Out Magazine and Broadway World called the play “brilliant” and “hilarious.” Following its 2009 debut, the production had a critically acclaimed run at The Diversionary in San Diego. Following that run, the play has been performed seasonally in other theatres across the U.S., including The Celebration Theatre and Theatre Asylum & Lab in Los Angeles, and The Theatre Project in Baltimore.

The creative team for The Santa Closet includes Scenic Designer Claire DeLiso, Lighting Designer Christopher S. Chambers, Projections Designer Yana Biryukova, and Sound Designer/ Original Music Composer Obadiah Eaves. The Production Stage Manager is Jamie Rose Bukowski.

The performance schedule for The Santa Closet will be as follows: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm (additional performance on Tuesday, December 3 at 7 pm).

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit  www.housesonthemoon.org.

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson is an educator, writer and actor currently spending the bulk of his time between New York, New York and London, England. He is an active member of both the bear and leather communities and is a proud member of the MidAtlantic Chapter of ONYX.

Kyle Jackson has 80 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Jackson

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