Theatre: Bad Christmas Sweater


How it’s New York:  The festival in which the play was presented is in Greenwich Village; the writer lives in New York, as do several other members of the cast and creative team.
How it’s Irish:  The writer, director, musical director and at least one of the actors are of Irish heritage.  Also, it has been said that the very first ugly Christmas sweater was made by accident somewhere on The Aran Islands in the 1950’s after a long lunch at the local pub.  It was sold immediately to an American tourist.

 With this post we’re delighted to welcome onboard new blogger Mark William Butler, a playwright and regular at IAW&A salons. Here Mark tells us about a musical he wrote that was put on at The Players Theatre in October. It won “Best Play” at The Players Theatre Short Play and Musical Festival.
The multi-talented Mark, who wrote book, music and lyrics, says to look for a full-length version next year. We can’t wait!

‘Twas the night before Christmas… or was it Halloween?  That was the question when my play Bad Christmas Sweater, a “horror noir Christmas musical”, premiered at The Players Theatre Short Play Boo! Festival this past October.  That’s right – Santa Claus was telling a different kind of story this year…

“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and I was working my job as a Santa in a local department store.  It was a shabby place hidden in the shadows on the nothing side of town – and it didn’t have a good reputation.  But this year my usual leads had come up dry – and I was short on cash and desperate for a gig.  So I took a flyer as a one day Christmas Eve fill-in – double time on D-Day – the main attraction in a holiday freak show of last-chance cheapskates and hopped-up rug rats – working the business end of the chimney in a store that takes the merry out of Christmas.  Ho ho ho, indeed.”

Soon he would face the real star of this creepy yuletide yarn – a newcomer to the rarefied ranks of holiday villainy – The Evil Ugly Christmas Sweater!  Beware!  This sweater has come alive – and may the fashion gods have mercy on all who dare to wear it! 

Bad Christmas Sweater starred Rachel Bouton and Stephen Jangro as the clueless young sweethearts Kitten and Chris; Emily Rose Prats as the ghoulish store clerk, and Edward Raube-Wilson as the hard drinking, gumshoe Santa Claus.  

Mark William Butler wrote the book, music and lyrics; Richard P. Butler was the Director; Jim Morgan was the Musical Director, and Mark “Rock” Speeney was the Stage Manager.   

We are all proud to say it won a “Best Play” award at the festival.  Look for a full length version next year!

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