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Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas: A chaotic cult classic

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Photo by Bronwen Gilbert Houck
Photo by Bronwen Gilbert Houck

Are you overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and seeking a chance to unwind and let loose? Well, look no further than Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas. In the format of a '70s variety show, it's the hilarious brainchild of the titular Scott Shoemaker and his partner in theater — as well as life — Freddie Mulich.

"He and I write the show together. Essentially we think about it all year long," said Shoemaker. The inspiration for it stemmed from "some of the things we like and dislike about Christmas, popular songs we are interested in parodying," he added. "Freddie is a comic genius and constantly comes up with wild ideas."

The show takes place at a Christmas dinner party that soon turns into downright chaos. "It kind of devolves into sort of a wacky mishmash of a bunch of different acts that kind of take place in the realm of a Christmas party, and then it usually resolves itself in the end," Shoemaker said, laughing.

The production is made possible thanks to a talented cast. "We have an awesome cast that we call 'The War on Christmas Dancers,' and they are all great solo performers," said Shoemaker. They include Ade, "an overall chanteuse, actor, and sort of icon," Waxing Moon, "a world-renowned burlesque artist," Mandy Price, "a hilarious comedian" whose background is mainly in improvisation, and Faggoty Randy, a talented burlesque performer.

Photo by Bronwen Gilbert Houck  

A cult classic that's new each year
The War on Christmas has become a bit of a cult classic in Seattle, with dedicated fans coming each year to see what Shoemaker and Mulich have added to the show. Despite it running each holiday season, they try hard to revamp it with new acts and fresh jokes each year. This year Shoemaker is very excited about what they are bringing to the table.

"The main thing is that there's gonna be a lot of elements of surprise, and a little bit of naughtiness. We are kind of doing a lot of bizarre and unusual acts that I think are very different from any Christmas show that you are going to see in the area. A lot of it skewers Christmas traditions, but it's tongue in cheek. It's subversive and wild, so people should be ready for a fun ride," he says.

Fans of the show are no doubt looking forward to these much-needed laughs after a long and treacherous year.

After nearly 18 months without in-person theater, Shoemaker is ecstatic to be back on stage. "We're ready to make people laugh again. We're taking safety extremely seriously, but we think that everybody can have a fun time reestablishing holiday traditions and getting a little bit of holiday cheer in their lives."

For those who might be interested in following in Shoemaker's footsteps, he offers some sage advice. "I would say that if you have a passion to be on stage, you don't need to let fear hold you back. It doesn't matter if you think what you're doing isn't perfect or isn't fully ready to be on stage. It's more important that you put yourself out there and start doing the work, because eventually you'll get better and better, and that's how you do it: putting it out on stage and just showing yourself to folks and what you're ready to offer."

Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas will play December 2—24 at the Theater Off Jackson. Tickets are now available for pre-order at https://www.strangertickets.com/events/115430538/scott-shoemakers-war-on-christmas.