Santa rocks the house

-- Staff reportDecember 13, 2012 

Patti Law-Poggi and The Golden Chain Theatre presented an early Christmas present to the community last weekend -- "Rock 'N' Roll Santa.

The lively and entertaining production, with great sets and sparkling costumes, was set in the late 1950s at Santa's workshop at the North Pole.

In the play, Santa finds himself in a serious dilemma when he realizes his eight reindeer would rather play and sing Rock 'N' Roll than make toys for Christmas.

Like all the teenage humans of that time, Santa's eight tiny reindeer are caught up in the new music -- rock 'n' roll. And like many young people of the era (and most other eras), the reindeer would rather play than work. And like many parents and other adults of the 1950s and 60s, Santa hates rock music -- or at least he acts like he does.

A villainous elf named Herman, who serves as Santa's business manager and thinks that a workshop is a place for all work and no play, fires all the reindeer. Their efforts to find other jobs becomes a disaster and instead of making money, the reindeer find themselves heavily in debt. But of course the reindeer and Santa, despite Herman the elf, come up with a plan to save Christmas.

In addition to Santa, the holiday production featured his eight reindeer played by Amber Persson (Dasher), Emily Meyer (Dancer), Alexis Clarke (Prancer), Dylan Allen (Vixen), Justin Talley (Comet), Natalie Guynn (Cupid), Cassidy Miller (Donner), Gunnar Benard (Rudolf) and the stumbling, bungling Blitzen, hilariously played by Charlie Brown.

Additional cast members included Mike Gallagher (Santa), Roland M. Ott (Herman), J.R. Romero (personnel agent) and Jessalyn Talley (music teacher).

Reindeer fawns were Anthony (AJ) Ruiz, Calley Orcutt, Olivia Waltwers and Zachary Russell.

Comic relief was provided by retired reindeer, assisted by walkers, played by Terry Walter, Roy Allison and Dartland Muhly.

Victorian dancers were Tawney Jackson, Bob Carlin, Jimmy Danenhougher, Danny Russell, Terry Walter and Roland M. Ott.

Law-Poggi choreographed and directed the Christmas play for the 42nd consecutive year.

The Golden Chain's next production is the March 16 and 17 mini-melodrama "Don't Hiss Me Off," written and directed by Yosemite High senior J.R. Romero.

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