San Franciscans are quite good at inventing their own holiday traditions – a sing-along Sound of Music and Christmas episodes of The Golden Girls done in drag come to mind – and there’s always room for one more at the table. Now in its third year, A Merry Forking Christmas is almost a staple, like mashed potatoes, mistletoe, and condoms in the Christmas stocking. Happily, Forking is as variable as its audience. How's that? Playwright Daniel Heath has written multiple plot twists and endings, and at various junctures the audience decides which way it will go. In fact, we are told, there are more than 350,000 possible combinations for this script, and every “fork” is determined by the crowd's nightly whim. Set in a shopping mall on Christmas Eve, Forking follows the misadventures of a dope-dealing Santa, his cookie-selling co-conspirator, and a hopelessly conflicted security guard. In the midst of the holiday hustle there’s room for a mallrat, a mortician, an attorney, stoners, shoppers, a drunk, a flasher, and/or a couple of lovers on the rocks. The tinkling of the piano keys lets us know when a choice must be made: Does the mall manager lose his shirt? Does our baker dose her obnoxious customer with special sweets? Does our jilted bride get sleazy with Santa? The choices are fun to make, and the plot remains firmly in the capable hands of playwright Heath and the players of the ever-energetic PianoFight theater company.
Dec. 13-17; Tue., Dec. 20; Dec. 22-23; Dec. 25-30, 2011