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2011 HOLIDAY GUIDE THREE: "Claus for Celebration"

The holidays wouldn't be as merry without Saul Tannenbaum

Catch Saul Tannenbaum's "Claus For Celebration" Dec. 22-23. Photo credit: Saul Tannenbaum

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Surreal vaudevillian Saul Tannenbaum and his crew of merrymakers have made it to the legitimate theater.

Tannenbaum's holiday show, stuffed like a stocking with musical medleys, silly stories and Christmas cheer, is set to play the Black Box at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts Thursday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 23.

Actor/director/pianist Josh Anderson, the man behind Tannenbaum's oversized glasses and bad wig, is no stranger to the region's stages. But for Tannenbaum, who made his first Olympia appearance two Christmases ago, this is a big step.

"When we asked Saul for comment on appearing at The Washington Center, he said, ‘I never thought I'd be invited back to our nation's capital after that incident with Henry Ford and his cousin Gerald, but Cincinnati, here we come!' " Anderson says. "Fortunately, Saul's lovely wife, Judy, is making the travel arrangements."

Performing with Tannenbaum will be the sultry Mona von Horne (Christina Collins); Belles Kitty Beaujolais (Lauren O'Neill), Donna Beldonado (Katie Youngers) and Lola de Sazerac (Kristin Carlson); and special guests Milt and Mindy McNaughton (Mark Alford and Sam Cori).

"There are going to be some really interesting Christmas medleys," Anderson says. "And we have two original tunes. One is a new Christmas tune, one is a favorite from last year, ‘Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong, It's Hanukkah.' "

As fans will know, Tannenbaum has his own unique take on the stories of the season. "Last year, there were stories of Saul's adventures with his good pals Rudolph and Jack Frost and the saga of him cornering Nicholas Watkins Claus, Santa's cousin by marriage," Anderson recalls. "Saul lives in this delightful universe where Christmas is very exciting."

What's the story on Santa in the Sauliverse?

Anderson puts on the voice: "Of course, Santa is real. He's very real. He wears a size 42 trousers in the summertime."

Returning to his own voice, Anderson adds: "He's one of Saul's best clients. And Saul is really passionate about pants and trousers. ... He's invested heavily in pants-making companies, trouser companies.

"It's sort of a wacky world, but it's Christmas."

Saul Tannenbaum's "Claus for Celebration"

Featuring the Jingle Belles
Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23, 8 p.m.
$20, $15 for students and seniors
Black Box at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia or

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