Consider: both the Village Playhouse and Charleston Stage Company have new stage adaptations of Charles Dickens’ hoary holiday classic A Christmas Carol going up next weekend.
Over the week that follows, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra will crank out no fewer than three performances of Handel’s Messiah. The weekend after that, locals will have their choice (if that’s the right word) of two Nutcrackers — one from Charleston Ballet Theatre and another from the Moscow Ballet at the NCPAC. It’s a given that television will be inundated with endless repeats of same, leavened with liberal sprinklings of It’s a Wonderful Life.
What gives? Isn’t it about time for some new cultural traditions for the holiday season? Tchaikovsky composed his holiday-season paean in 1892, A Christmas Carol dates from 1843, and George Frideric Handel’s famous oratorio was first heard in 1741. Hell, even the Grinch is half a century old.
Herewith, a few suggestions:
Underneath My Toga
Reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas! This holiday season, hark back to the days of yore, when pagans, heathens, and idolaters of every ken celebrated the winter solstice with traditional festivals like Yule, Karachun, and Saturnalia. Long before Christians appropriated the date with their depressing religious hokum, the Romans knew how to throw a real end-of-year bender! Join us this December for our annual production of Underneath My Toga. As always, you’ll experience the season anew with the the Roman God Saturn’s wacky antics, enough animal sacrifices to gag a goat (with real blood this year!), and no end of debauchery and dissolution. The grand orgy finale will have you and your family looking at fruitcake in a new light forever.
The Piggiest Christmas Ever
If you’re looking for a way to get the relatives out of the living room and into the spirit of the season this Thanksgiving, reserve your tickets now for the perennial family favorite and holiday must-see about the cutest little capitalist pig in town! It’s just not Christmas for Puny Pete this year, because he can’t afford to buy all the mass-manufactured crap he wants. His credit’s maxed out, he’s awash in debtors past, and no matter how he scrimps and saves, even his miserliest efforts are no match for the lure of the year’s busiest shopping season. Your heart will grow five sizes when you see Pete visited by the porkish patron of holiday cheer, the Christmas Pig, who raises Pete’s credit limit and saves the season for everyone!
Festivus! On Ice!
It started with a humble episode of a sitcom in 1997, and it’s mushroomed into a genuine holiday extravaganza. Festivus, “the holiday for the rest of us,” takes Charleston by storm this weekend when the NCPAC hosts Festivus! On Ice! Watch your favorite Seinfeld characters skate themselves silly around the aluminum Festivus Pole, bust a gut at the Airing of Grievances, and see if you can guess what this year’s Feat of Strength will entail. Bring a handful of tinsel to distract the skaters and get $1 off your ticket price.
Do you have a creative, smartassed idea for a new holiday season show? Send it to email@example.com. We might even print it.