What: “A Politically Correct Christmas”

When: Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday; additional performances 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, till Dec. 17

Where: 2nd Street Theater, 220 NE Lafayette Ave., Bend

Cost: $19, $16 students and seniors

Contact: 2ndstreettheater.com or 541-312-9626

About a year and a half ago, around the time Bend actor and playwright Clinton K. Clark’s “The Beatles Die on Tuesday” opened at 2nd Street Theater, Sandy Klein, manager of the theater, challenged Clark to write a new Christmas play.

“What she had in mind was something pretty family-friendly,” Clark told GO! “And so I tried. But she seems to be pretty OK with how it turned out.”

“It” refers to “A Politically Correct Christmas” (or “A P.C. Xmas” for short), Clark’s collection of four new short plays riffing on well-known classic tales. The new show makes its world premiere Friday at the Bend theater. Like so much gift-box ribbon, Clark twists, ties and tapes the stories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, a grown-up Kevin McCallister of “Home Alone” and Ralphie of “A Christmas Story” into modern tales that oftentimes are laugh-out-loud funny — and probably landing closer to PG-13 than a family-oriented production, according to Clark.

First up is “Rudy Rudy Rudolph,” directed by Clark himself. It opens with a trio of kids (played by Katie James, Jayde Clark and Brynne Hunt) singing a changed-up version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” They show up periodically to sing another variant verse introducing the plot’s next wrinkle. Matt Vigil stars as everyone’s favorite flying reindeer, and boy, is he ever bright and cheerful. Vixen (Catherine Christie) is especially smitten with Rudy and makes plans to drink mojitos with him, although from the viewer’s standpoint, he doesn’t appear to reciprocate her romantic designs.

The reindeer with the red nose is not everyone’s cup of tea, however: Donner (Tyler Santos) and Blitzen (Tommy Kuchulis) are a pair of young, dumb bucks given to hilarious antler collisions at the slightest whiff of disagreement.

Each has designs on courting the lovely doe, and hatch a plan to thwart Rudy — by sawing off Blitzen’s antlers so he can pose as Rhonda the randy reindeer, consort to Rudy. Hijinks ensue, the reindeer pair off unexpectedly, and let’s just say some healthy glows are the result.

Leading into intermission is “Halfway Home Alone,” directed by Danielle Herron. Here, we see Harry and Marv, the oft-thwarted villains of “Home Alone,” excellently re-created by Joshua Harrison and Levon Alldredge, respectively. The two, freshly out of prison, are arriving at a halfway house, where they’re forced to bunk together.

Harry (played by Joe Pesci in the film) has designs of becoming a Broadway hairdresser, but as fate would have it, the only room available in the house is with Marv (Daniel Stern in the film).

Thanks, in large part, to Clark’s script, and no doubt Herron’s direction, Harrison and Alldredge somehow manage to re-create the duo’s chemistry, bringing to the small stage the broad physical comedy of the two and the spirit of the source films.

Of course, other than their bickering, and Marv’s hots for the house manager, Tina (Gracie DeWilde), they’d be nothing without a conflict. That arrives in the form of their formerly pint-size nemesis, Kevin McCallister (Kuchulis) now grown and ready to thwart more of Marv and Harry’s plans.

“Less than Frosty,” directed by Scott Schultz, takes off on Frosty the Snowman, seen here as he slowly decays thanks to global warming: Think of your most politically incorrect relatives after a few drinks have removed whatever filters they have, then double their intake of Fox News, and you have some approximation of Frosty, who’s ripe for moving to the “cold folks home.”

Richard Mueller stars as Frosty, who lives with a family played by Amy James as the mother, and Audrey Rink and Katie James as the daughters, all beginning to despair at Frosty’s melting condition. Alldredge turns up again here as a slick salesman, ready to sell Frosty and his family on a nice icebox in which to chill.

The cloying, patronizing voice he adopts for the role could put the most shameless radio huckster out of business.

Clark said that while all four of his plays have moments he enjoys, “What I’ve been finding is that there are things I’ve written in that I didn’t even know were funny until I’d seen it on stage. For example, Frosty, when I wrote him, I had something completely different in mind, but what Richard’s done with it is completely hilarious. I couldn’t even have thought of that. He’s taken it and run with it farther than my thoughts went.”

The Karen Sipes-directed “The Christmas Story: 20 years later” finds Ralphie (Russ Seaton) home from the Vietnam War, and younger brother Randy (Harrison) a pacifistic hippie. Clark provides the frequently occurring voice-overs you may remember from “A Christmas Story.”

Some things never change: When dad’s precious leg lamp suffers damage, they must turn to an antiques dealer you’ll recognize from his torment of Ralphie: Scot Fergis (“Scut Farkus” in the film), the third role played by Kuchulis in the quartet of Christmas plays.

Clark said that Kuchulis “kicked ass at auditions. Everybody wanted him. I would venture to say he’s the Jim Carrey of Bend.”

Asked about the title “A P.C. Xmas,” Clark said, “I’m not trying to take a stand on anything in the … cultural atmosphere right now, the ‘happy holidays’ versus ‘keep Christ in Christmas.’ And I’m not taking a stand on anything. I’m just making fun of the whole thing. It’s the differences that make us unique, and that’s one of the things that I was trying to emphasize by making fun of this whole thing.”

Before the month is out, Clark will again appear on the 2nd Street stage as Crumpet, the wry Macy’s elf of “The Santaland Diaries.” The one-man show, adapted from famed humorist David Sedaris’ classic story by Joe Mantello. It runs Dec. 21-24 at 2nd Street and Dec. 22 at Maragas Winery.

“It’s such a hit. So many people expect me to do it now,” he said. “It’s becoming a cult classic. Despite my feelings about it, and how this is my sixth time doing it. It’s like, ‘Ugh.’” (Uh-oh. He’s starting to sound like Crumpet!)

Clark, who interned at Oregon Shakespeare Festival several years back, will also appear early next year in “Equivocation,” a play by Bill Cain about events surrounding the creation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Clark’s also writing a TV pilot, which he described as “a dream for the future.”

For now, he hopes “A P.C. Xmas” will lift spirits during a time of year that can be depressing for some.

“Christmas is kind of a serious time for a lot of people. It’s the same reason that I do ‘Santaland,’” Clark said. “It’s to bring some laughter and some joy into this kind of stressful time that everyone puts up on this pedestal.”

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