In this perfectly profane and wickedly funny Christmas revue, a flurry of children’s letters to Santa are brought to life by four performers. You know these kids, or maybe you were one of them: the boy who dances to his own unique carol, the girl aching to mother a dolly, the brutally naughty brats who insist they're really nice, and the needy, greedy and profoundly selfish boys and girls who misunderstand the true meaning of Christmas. Subversive and darkly comic, Naughty/Nice is an original holiday-themed musical revue for grown-ups that seeks to reveal the other side of Christmas.
Four quick-changing actors play a multitude of quirky, profane, heartbreaking and hilarious kids who are aching to have their wishes answered by Santa Claus in this epistolary musical revue. The large community of children spring from a core foursome — two boys, two girls — introduced in the opening number, ("Dear Santa"), in which the kids put pen to paper to write to Old St. Nick. The four emerge as a unit later in the show, but also spin off into their own solos, duets and backup roles.
Enter June, a dainty, tap-happy, Shirley Temple-type moppet hoping that Santa will "Bring Mummy" a spirit-filled (preferably 90 proof) gift. Meet Ben and his groovy backup girls. He's been raised on disco, pop and Motown hits of the '70s. "The Only Thing I Want in the World," he declares, is an action figure all his own. (Watch out, Barbie!) A foursome of Carolers makes its first appearance asking Big Questions associated with the season ("Winter Wondering 1"). In the show's title number ("Naughty/Nice"), another quartet of kids brightly reveals grand acts of naughtiness, bordering on sin, but insist that — underneath — really they're nice. Meanwhile, in Greenwich Village, Barbra Joan, raised on one too many torch songs, has a very special "Wish For a Daddy." Over in merry England, brother and sister Noel and Gertie, upper-upper-class tots, implore "Don't Bring the Reindeer 'Round."
The four Carolers return with more "questions in the snow" ("Winter Wondering 2"). Yet another dysfunctional foursome advocates "Canceling Christmas," explaining in a mix of song and confessional monologue why Santa should avoid their neck of the woods. Over in Germany, Jenny has made her mind up that she's addicted to American baked goods ("The Ballad of the Easy Bake Oven") in a Weill (or rather, vile) cabaret turn. Another brother and sister, Susie and Ricky, overcome their speech impediments (or do they?) to present a counterpoint wish list ("Sibling Duet"). Over in the heartland, a folk-friendly kid versed in both Dickens and the Scriptures asks Santa to end suffering around the world ("An Eleemosynary Christmas").
The four Carolers wander and wonder anew with( "Winter Wondering 3"). In "Trunk Song," a fresh foursome of disappointed kids revisits the crappy gifts Santa brought in years past and beg him to learn from his mistakes. Down in Brazil, "In the Shadow of Corcovado," a bossa nova-loving boy named Antonio desperately seeks Santa's help with social change, The Man Upstairs and a worrisome health issue. Over in the suburbs, a girl sings a waltztime "Lullaby" about a dolly, taking a cue from how her mother raised her. The spotlight then hits a boy actor who has delusions of showbiz grandeur. He invites Santa to attend his school Christmas pageant, in which predicts his turn as Wise Man No. 3 will be a "Show Stopper." The four Carolers complete their pondering ("Winter Wondering 4"), realizing the questions (not the answers) keep hope alive.
In "The Last Letter" we hear four spoken accounts of the painful moment each of the four kids first realized that Santa might not be real, signaling a transition that is both personal and theatrical — they transform into adults and step into the final number. Now dressed in urban black, they ruefully reflect on their bittersweet memories of past holidays. The act of remembering allows them to reach for a brighter future — reconnecting, on a snow-kissed Christmas Eve, no less, with something innocent and optimistic again ("Part of Me").
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, everyone is treated to a little sugar and spice.
Girl 1: A soprano who can be legit and brassy. Her solos include a Liza/Judy/Barbra-worthy torch song ("Wish for a Daddy") and a gentle waltz ("Lullaby"). Approx vocal range: Soprano with high mix belt.
Girl 2: An alto who can play bright and dark. Her solos include a tap-happy Shirley Temple number ("Bring Mummy") and a German cabaret number worthy of Marlene Dietrich and Lotte Lenya ("The Ballad of the Easy Bake Oven"). Approx vocal range: Alto/Second Soprano.
Boy 1: A tenor with a light, vulnerable quality. His solos include a bossa nova for Brazilian boy at risk ("The Shadow of Corcovado") and a pop number for a gay kid ("The Only Thing I Want in the World"). Approx vocal range: Lyric tenor.
Boy 2: A baritone with a robust quality. His solos include a Big Number for a kid desperate for the spotlight in the Christmas play ("Showstopper") and a young folk-friendly troubadour ridding
the world of troubles ("An Eleemosynary Christmas"). Approx vocal range: Baritone.
Casting Notes: The show is written for adult actors. Don't be afraid to cast people in their thirties and forties. Skewing older tends to be funnier.
An option to expand the cast exists, with a core foursome (2 F, 2 M) singing all the group numbers ("Dear Santa," "Naughty/Nice," "Canceling Christmas," "Trunk Song," "Winter Wondering" and "Part of Me") and added soloists tackling star turns, with all joining in the finale of "Part of Me."
Setting: Quintessential Christmas locations– a typical American Christmas household, outside in the snow, etc.
Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote.
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Naughty/Nice, click here.
"Naughty/Nice proved to be a sold-out, hit attraction in two benefit concerts produced by ASTEP/Artists Striving To End Poverty in Manhattan. Audiences howled with laughter and had their hearts touched by this quirky and fresh approach to the holidays. Raising money and awareness for our organization in a creative way — using rising performers and writers and new songs that draw on the heritage of musical theatre — was right up our alley."–Mary-Mitchell Campbell, founder, ASTEP/Artists Striving to End Poverty
"If you mashed up A Charlie Brown Christmas and Broadway's Spelling Bee, you'd have the wild sleigh ride that is Naughty/Nice. The hilarious barebones revue had audiences at our concert at Caroline's On Broadway screaming for more!"–Michael Milton, The Producer Circle Company
Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The required materials for Naughty/Nice include:
Production Scripts, Piano/Vocal Scores
Print Edition – Beautifully bound scripts available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.
Reference Recording - Audio recording for reference purposes only
Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution artwork, ready-designed posters, and reference photos.