Attic Salt Theatre Company presents the world premiere of the wacky parody Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, by local playwright and director Rodney Smith. Performances will be held at the company’s studio theater at 2002 Riverside Drive in Asheville, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., from December 9–23, with a special Christmas Eve matinee on Saturday, December 24, at 2:30 p.m.
“Rodney has a strong sense of pop culture and combines it with his own wit and intelligence to come up with some very fun work,” says Attic Salt’s artistic director Jeff Catanese. “For full-on belly laughs, it’s hard to find a comparable local writer.”
The low-budget film version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians came out in 1964 and was universally panned, quickly earning its stripes as one of the worst movies ever made. When the original script came up for copyright renewal, the process was either ignored or forgotten about, putting the film in the public domain and cementing its status as a cult classic.
“For me, the original film falls into the category of being so bad, it’s good,” says Smith. “I started by making fun of how bad it was, and turned those silly musings into dialogue and physical gags.”
The play’s plot is summed up as follows: When Kinmar, leader of Mars, decides Martian children need a Christmas he travels to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus. Due to complications brought on by the evil Martian Voldar, the future of Santa and Christmas lies in the hands of a few incompetent Martians and two precocious Earth children.
The cast stars local veteran actors Darren Marshall, Sonia D’Andrea, Scott Fisher, Kirby Gibson, Eric Vik, Lauren Powers, Carly Berdine, Scott Cameron and Eli Hamilton.
Tickets for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians are $20 and can be purchased at AtticSalt.org.