Flat Rock finishes season with feel good, funny 'Dear Santa'.
by Tim Reid
December 5, 2008
Ashville Citizen-Times

Flat Rock Playhouse's stage is knee-deep in tinsel and toys this holiday season as some of Flat Rock's best-known actors perform Norm Foster's Christmas comedy “Dear Santa.” Advertisement Michael Edwards makes a great Santa Claus with both the girth and the merriment to do the role justice. Another Flat Rock favorite, Scott Treadway, is hilarious as pushy salesman Lou Flapdoodle, who does his best to convince Santa to buy a rocket-powered sleigh. And Ben Hope gives a very believable performance as Santa's nerdy, uptight chief of staff Algernon, who is always sweating the details of Christmas without really understanding the magic.

But Damian Duke Domingue pretty much steals the show as Bozidar, the chief of toy production whose zany mispronunciations keep the audience laughing.


Christmas preparations are in high gear when a young girl, Kit (Allison Nock), comes bearing a letter to Santa from her younger brother. Kit's ho-hum attitude and lack of Christmas spirit threatens to put a damper on things, so Santa gives her a task intended to help change her attitude. Santa's housekeeper, Octavia (Neela Munoz), is good-hearted but empty-headed as she pines for the affections of Algernon, who is too caught up with himself to notice.

The holiday comedy "Dear Santa" continues through Dec. 14 at Flat Rock Playhouse. Pictured, from left are Neela Mu?oz, Ben Hope Michael Edwards, Allison Nock and Damian Duke Domingue. (Special to the Citizen-Times)    

The scenes in Santa's workshop are enchanting as the diminutive elves talk to Santa in a sing-song tone that is quite intriguing. Kit's headstrong actions almost ruin Christmas, but not to worry. Santa has a few tricks up his sleeve, including the surprise appearance of Kit's mother (Chelsie McRae) and brother (Jericho Thomas). Director Paige Posey and a talented cast serve up the perfect vehicle to put you in a Christmas mood.

This play is best enjoyed with younger members of the family but should be fun for anyone.

Tim Reid reviews theater for the Citizen-Times.