Produced by Darren T. Mangler and Theatre Unleashed at Sidewalk Studio Theater in Burbank
[DISCLAIMER: I co-founded Theatre Unleashed in 2008 and served as president of the company until October of this year. I have also had the great fortune of working with Darren Mangler a number of times, and consider him a friend. I kind of know Josh Green, as well. :-) ]
Darren Mangler is an animal; a great comic beast who roams unbridled across the vast, untamed wild of Los Angeles comedy. He is incapable of not being funny. Actually, I take that back -- in The Unserious Chekhov earlier this year, I directed Darren in Chekhov's short play "On the Main Road," and he manages dramatic material with the same balls-out committment with which he approaches comedy. But I digress.
Merry Filthy Christmas is billed as "L.A.'s Longest Running Holidy Sketch Show" -- it certainly predates Theatre Unleashed. Our company was just a twinkle in our naive little eyes when I first heard of the show, at that time produced at Write/Act Repertory in Hollywood.
Is it offensive? I suppose so. To be honest, even the raunchiest jokes are presented with such good humor and purity (yes, purity) of spirit it's easy to laugh in spite of one's self. There were a few groaners (what comedy show would be complete without them?) But overall the night was -- dare I say? -- good, clean fun. Good clean fun with ample incest, anal-sex and scatalogical jokes. It is a strange line that Mangler and Co., walk, and they walk it well.
This past Friday night was your last chance to catch the 2010 edition of this show, but you should make plans to catch this naughty and nice show next year. I know I'll be back!