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A guaranteed spot on the naughty list with John Waters

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John Waters — Photo by Greg Gorman
John Waters — Photo by Greg Gorman

Fans of camp, absurdity, and comedic filth need not fear this holiday season — John Waters is coming to Seattle.

Initially set for a 2020 performance (but delayed due to COVID-19), Waters is performing his spoken word comedy show, "A John Waters Christmas," at the Neptune Theater on Wednesday, December 1, at 8:00 p.m.

A blurb from Seattle Theatre Group's website describes it as "the booster shot you need."

It continues: "Like an obsessed and shell-shocked St. Nick from quarantine, John Waters, the 'people's pervert' or 'queer Confucius' as the press recently called him, is back after a two-year home detention in Baltimore to hit the road again for his 25th Annual Xmas Tour. Bad little boys and girls, and everybody in between and beyond, will be thrilled to take a sleigh ride of sleaze down the slopes of good taste and over the ski jump of religious beliefs to a snow drift of candy cane anarchy."

Intriguing and purposely vague, the description gives as much information on the show as Waters would want any audience member to have. His past performances have been written to shock, stemming from a rich history of Waters' urge to deliver a style of comedy that is wholly unplaceable and unpalatable.

Waters has been churning out Queer art since his rise to notoriety in the seventies with cult films such as Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble. He is an inarguable Queer icon, always devoted to creating art that attacks conventions and exposes humor in the unexpected. His idiosyncratic stance on taboo subject matter brings about strong audience reactions to humor that is likely offensive, but not antagonistically so. That is to say, Waters doesn't offend for the sake of offending; he just has a deep love of subverting expectations of humor and cultural taste.

Photo courtesy of STG Presents  

The SGN reached out to a member of Waters' crew to ask what the two-year hiatus meant in terms of new content for the Christmas show. They responded, "The material is almost all new. John always updates his Christmas show, and given all that has happened over the last two years, he has had more time to reflect and write."

In past Christmas shows, Waters has opted for a simple production: just him in a chair on stage, amusing audiences with his rapid-fire quick wit and a Q&A segment at the end.

It is safe to say that audience members should expect rumination over the pandemic in America and our current precarious political state of affairs, along with a whole lot of off-color jokes about celebrating Christmas in the modern day.

Where to get tickets
Tickets for the show are available online on Seattle Theatre Group's website (https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/5928/a-john-waters-christmas) and various reselling sites.

Waters' team mentioned that he "typically sells these shows out in advance" and they "wouldn't count on" tickets at the door. If you're looking to attend, you should get tickets early, leave the kids at home, and come sporting a mask with your proof of vaccination.