This is the eighth year of A Very Die Hard Christmas, written by Josh Carson, Andy Rocco Kraft, and Brad Erickson. If you've seen any of their Fringe shows (e.g., this year's Mad as Nell, or How to Lose a Bly in Ten Days or last year's A Justice League of Their Own), you'll be familiar with the sort of pop culture mash-up format of the show, into which they shove as many jokes and references as they possibly can. While the story roughly follows the movie, there are also references to other beloved Christmas movies and TV shows, most notably Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but also A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and even the Chipmunks. So while I didn't get all of the references or jokes, there were plenty that I did get, being a child of the '70s and '80s, and it was sort of fun discovering the plot of the movie through this warped version of it.
And the plot basically is that a NYC cop saves a bunch of hostages, including his estranged wife, from German terrorists who have taken over an office building in L.A. On Christmas Eve, which is what makes this a Christmas movie. Or is it an action movie that takes place on Christmas? Let's not get into it.
|the cast of A Very Die Hard Christmas|
(photo courtesy of Josh Carson's Facebook page)
Every night, a surprise Santa saves the day, usually a well-known face from the #TCTheater and/or #TCComedy world. On the night I saw the show it was Lauren Anderson, whose sketch comedy show Getting Plowed: A Holiday Survival Guide at Brave New Workshop is not sold out and is also part of a popular and very funny holiday tradition.
As it turns out, A Very Die Hard Christmas is a loving and irreverent spoof of not just that one movie, but also all those childhood Christmas movies, TV shows, and songs that we love (even if they annoy us a little too). OK, maybe I do understand why this show is so popular. And maybe I will go back and see it every year. But first I want to watch the movie, to see what it is that inspired all of this.
*Click here to read about all of the holiday shows I've seen this year.