Santa Would Be Horrified

'Twisted Christmas' returns wilder than ever


There are no boughs of holly or turtledoves here, folks. Anything resembling a normal celebration of seasonal spirit is tossed gleefully out the window for this weekend’s eighth annual Twisted Christmas Live. Having grown tired of the same holiday stories hashed out over and over (who else can recite A Christmas Carol nearly verbatim?), a group of local writers—including the Bohemian‘s own David Templeton—made up some truly odd Christmas-themed tales, booked a stage and founded this tradition in 2003. Since, it’s grown to include an annual offbeat cast, this year including Will and Debi Durst, Dave Pokorny, John Moran, Reed Martin (of the Reduced Shakespeare Company), Keith Baker and Denise Elia.

Somewhat accidentally winding up with a tiki theme, organizers are inviting the audience to wear Hawaiian shirts to complement the all-ukulele orchestra and “Holiday Hula-Hoop All-Stars.” Famed funnyman Josh Kornbluth delivers a video tale worthy of his warped mind amid animated corpses, communism and UFOs. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Steve Jaxon, host of Swingin’ with Sinatra, gets into the seasonal-skewering mix with Last Record Store owner Doug Jayne.

When these folks are left to their own devices, things get weird, and not the kind that happens when Grandma has three glasses of sherry and sings “Teenage Dream.” According to Templeton, the eccentric madman hosting the show, don’t be alarmed if a particular skit turns into an island tribe of flesh-hungry cannibals hunting the meaty girth of Santa Claus himself.

All this weirdness goes for a worthy cause: the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa, to provide help to the homeless and hungry. Event organizers note that some material might not be appropriate for small children or anyone who takes the well being of St. Nick to heart. We hear he gets a bit of a bashing.

Twisted Christmas Live 8 wreaks havoc on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 7:30 p.m. $15&–$20. 707.568.5381.

Sonoma County Library