Fasten Seatbelts for Driving Miss Daisy, Santaland Diaries

Driving Miss Daisy offers smooth but powerful ride; and fasten your seatbelts, Nye Cooper's back in Sedaris' Santaland Diaries

Having him back in Crumpet's peppermint-striped tights feels like WaterTower's gift to fans of this cynical show. Cooper can out-Sedaris Sedaris. His voice oozes sarcasm—"She said, 'I'm going to have you fired,' and I said, 'I'm going to have you killed'"—and he provokes roars of laughter with each sharply timed arch of a thick, black eyebrow.

Santaland Diaries is not for kiddies. Crumpet talks dirty about his fellow elves—he's got his eye on a flirty number named Snowflake—but he does go a little gooey toward the end of his hour-long rant when he comes upon one hired-in Santa who fills even an angry, underpaid helper with the true spirit of Christmas.

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, now playing evenings at the Bath House, is about kid characters, but it's not for very young theatergoers either. Bert V. Royal's unauthorized satire of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts gang supposes that as teenagers, Charlie Brown (CB), Linus (called Van), Lucy (Van's sister), Schroeder and the rest are surly, foulmouthed creeps. Snoopy's been put to sleep after attacking and eating Woodstock (the little yellow bird). CB is so sexually ambiguous he's sleeping with Lucy and Schroeder (called Beethoven here). And remember Pigpen? Now he's Matt, a gay-hating germophobe. Aaargh.

Doris Gramm and Mathew Greer (right) take the lead roles in a pitch-perfect Driving Miss Daisy.
Frank Shants
Doris Gramm and Mathew Greer (right) take the lead roles in a pitch-perfect Driving Miss Daisy.

Details

Driving Miss Daisy continues through December 19 (matinees only) at the Bath House Cultural Center, 214-532-1709.
The Santaland Diaries continues through December 23 at the WaterTower's Studio Theatre, Addison, 972-450-6232.
Dog Sees God continues through December 22 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 972-215-8059.

The ugly conceit of this play wears thin immediately. OK, they're rotten kids disappointed to learn that happiness isn't a warm puppy. As the playwright pours on the usual clichés of teen angst—drug addiction, abortion, bulimia, self-loathing—and the young ensemble of the Inevitable Theatre Company shrieks and howls in ghastly displays of terrible acting, we start wishing for the Sopwith Camel to fly over and strafe the whole lot of them.

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