With its forced togetherness and obligatory gifts, not to mention holiday music from Halloween on, the holiday season is enough to give anyone shudders. The good people at Ghostlight Theatre understand that. For one night this season, they encourage you to let your hair down and laugh it off — possibly in self-defense.
“It’s really the stupidest thing you’ll see on stage all year,” said Lance Garrett, the club’s fearless leader. “We really don’t want anyone to feel left out; there’s something for everyone. We try to upset as many people as we can.”
What started as a lark has turned into a four-year tradition of a sort of gonzo theater presentation that provides for laughter at anyone’s expense, especially the favored target: the holidays.
Eggnog, now in its fourth incarnation, is an invitation to, according to the poster, “leave the kids at home and come celebrate the idiocy and the yuletide rage the holidays bring out in all of us.”
Comprised of material that has been rehearsed only within the week preceding the production the show promises an improvisational mix of slide-show projection and sketch comedy that, according to Garrett, “starts with good intentions and then usually dissolves into stupidity.”
Spoofing on pop-culture and the idea that “the most wonderful time of the year” might not be all that wonderful for everyone, Eggnog is a welcome reprieve from the party line. The promotional poster features Luke and Leia dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the pose you see on the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope posters, and writer Emily Etherton promises “the geek in all of us can look forward to a mash-up between Christmas and Star Wars.” What started as a situation of a lot to do in very little time ended up having great results.
“Opening night, there is such a weird energy,” Garrett said. “Having that short of time just forced us to completely go nuts. It’s so fun and energizing.”
A Florida transplant, Garrett spends the rest of the year devoted to providing an off-the-beaten-path theatre experience on a shoestring budget. Devoted to doing things their own way, they have no investors, and thereby, answer to no one. Ghostlight is a very small company with a very small budget, but they have absolute creative control over everything they produce. In a year that has seen controversy about creative control and funding in local theater, their position could be considered enviable.
“We don’t have to please anybody,” Garrett said.
Ghostlight spends the rest of the year focused on bringing the unusual and cutting-edge to Oklahoma City. They are also seeking a new space for their theater’s home. After having to abandon their last space that was located at 3110 N. Walker, an admittedly unusual space for a theater. Garrett said that’s his specialty. “I am good at going into a space and making fit what you wouldn’t think would fit,” he said.
He talked about a theater space he once had in a strip mall in Florida. The search is on for more of the same for Ghostlight’s new home in OKC.
They are currently borrowing space from Actors Casting & Talent Services (or ACTS) on NE 50th St., where you can be part of the magic this Friday and Saturday. When asked about any other reasons you should check out the show besides a reprieve from the holiday madness and Star Wars, Garrett mentioned. “We cuss a lot.” (Admit it. You were on board after “Yuletide rage.”)