Dallas — Quirky. Absurdist. Wry. Profane. It’s a night at the theater with playwright Matt Lyle and his pals. But it’s not a holiday show, asserts the title Gold, Frankincense, and Credit Card Debt: A Christmas Holiday December Sketch Comedy Show, written by Lyle, Nicole Neely, and Matt Coleman, plus performers Rachel Farmer, Jim Kuenzer, and Jeff Swearingen, and directed by Lyle and co-presented by Bootstraps Comedy Theatre and Theatre Three, performed at Theatre Too!, T3’s basement space.
Yet there he is anyway, Santa Claus, buff from his paleo diet, though Mrs. Claus is not thrilled by the new Crossfit personality’s effect on the workshop elves. Another sketch explores traumatized liberals at Christmas bemoaning a looming dictatorship.
More clever than funny, the silly slips in a White Elephants gift party where a slow-motion slapstick fight over a dildo ensues. Another bright sketch takes the panic over a light dusting of snow in Texas and runs with it, finding heroism in saving a misplaced casserole dish.
Both sketches showcase the joy of watching Jeff Swearingen’s physicality and the way he throws himself into any comedy. Likewise, Rachel Farmer’s mesmerizing, slightly insane, expressive face that is a foundation of her impressive improv career.
Being a Lyle theatrical offering, death is a featured player. The sketch of lovers on a suicide ledge, last seen in a Lyle show at the Dallas Comedy House, makes an appearance. In another, a popular Christmas song haunts a driver’s car radio to the point of fatal frustration.
The Stanley Sisters trio, another Dallas Comedy House show featurette, returns with Jeremy Whiteker as the lead “sister” in a nursing home visit to their decrepit wanton mama. They stumble into a slow-motion orgy redolent of “Icy Hot, chicken soup and lube“ and festive displays of red balls.
But hey, the show already covered a party barf-a-thon and poop-basted turkeys, so why not sagging scrotal skin?
An obligatory Elf on a Shelf bit, something about wigs and pop music, a rather intrusive nanny cam, and an adult daughter who still believes in Santa Claus, round things out. The acting verve of Jenna Anderson, whose resume spans drama and comedy, and Jim Kuenzer, known for his witty sketch comedy enterprises, save several of these almost-formed sketches.
Gold, Frankincense, and Credit Card Debt: A Christmas Holiday December Sketch Comedy Show has two more performances, at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27 and 28. Contact the box office at 214-871-3300 or Theatre3Dallas.com.