Naked Holidays

By Russell Dobular and the Naked Holidays Ensemble, with additional material by Stacey Lane; Directed by Russell Dobular


BOTTOM LINE: Naked people, some amusing songs, more naked people, gorgeous dancers, and some naked people to top it all off.

Birthday suits! Come see people in the nude! Actors, musicians, and dancers undress for this bacchanalia! I was shocked, yet amused, by these performers who let it all hang out...who let it all hang everywhere actually. There are jokes and songs and ballet and beat-boxing, but to top it all off there is “The Naked People Play.” Unsure how to react? The hosts give you one-liners until they are blue in the face. Get your fun and dirty mind ready for the rowdy ruckus.

Naked Holidays begins unexpectedly with an appearance from Elmo, followed by Big Bird and Kermit the Frog. It turns out Elmo is depressed and gets advice from the cast about Seasonal Affective Disorder. This show makes fun of many different types of people as they bring in an actress portraying Paula Deen and others who are supposed to be Orthodox Jews. Yes, some of the script made my jaw drop, but I'm trying to justify what could be misinterpreted as meanness as instead just general comedic intentions, since no religion or political party is spared a wisecrack.

Next, we are shown men who dance while wearing Santa hat style banana hammocks. I guess they wanted to give us a few numbers where not everyone was au naturel. Luckily, some of the actors have voices that croon and tickle your eardrums. The dancers add an alluring element right before you observe a zombie elf outbreak. Don't get too comfortable because after that the audience gets to observe Mrs. Claus having her sexual fantasies fulfilled in a ridiculous and awkward rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart." A drag queen act follows that, and then a Kwanzaa song, preceding the most naked people I have seen in a room at one time.

Depending on how many tickets are sold you might have the opportunity to meet new people. My boyfriend and I had two strangers seated at a table with us. Though unexpected, it was nice to hear their account of last year's Naked Holidays experience at a different venue. Most of the tables at The Cutting Room seat four people, so it would be a great setting for a double date, which would also secure you a table for yourselves. One thing to take note of though is that there is a twenty dollar minimum per person. Luckily their menu includes food and lots of tasty drink choices.

A large issue with the production that affected the audience's viewing were technical difficulties. It seemed like there were some great punchlines that went right over our heads as a result, though people were kept happy by so many actors in the buff. So, turn up your hearing aids and crane your necks for some Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza cheer. This 7th annual Naked Holidays production delivers you both the holiday themes and nudity advertised in its title, but not too much more.

(Naked Holidays plays at The Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street (near Park Ave), through December 30, 2013. Performances are Mondays at 8PM; Saturdays at 7:30PM and 10:30PM; Sundays at 7PM; and two extra shows at 8PM on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th. Tickets are $45 (plus a $20 food/drink minimum per person) and are available at