Forget being nice, it’s Krampus X-Mas time again Dec. 8-17 at 7 Stages. The acclaimed Atlanta theater group brings back its twisted holiday tradition in a brand-new variety show featuring Santa/Satan,Japanese monsters, giant robots, spectacular make-up and costumes, heavy metal music, and Hellish hilarity. After 10 years of Krampus, 7 Stages says it’s the last year for to enjoy them deck the halls with debauchery, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t their unique take on the German anti-Claus. Check out the campy trailer and purchase tickets here.
ATLRetro caught up with the Krampus himself, or rather his human manifestation Adam Lowe, to find out more about this year’s fear-tivities, as well as what else is up with 7 Stages and his own acting career.
ATLRetro: You’re playing the most iconic character of Christmas next to Santa, literally the anti-Santa, at the culmination of a years-long tradition. Does that place a certain pressure on you to get it right?
Adam: Thankfully the most pressure I feel during the production is the weight of the horns, although I’m told we are getting new, lighter ones this year, so that’s a relief. I’ve been fortunate to work with the scriptwriter and the director before, and that relationship has done a lot to mitigate any performance anxiety I might otherwise feel.
How are you preparing to get into character?
Satan and I have been Facebook messaging a lot.
Tell us a bit about this year’s Krampus Christmas. How will it preserve past 7 Stages traditions and is it a challenge to stay fresh?
Krampus Christmas has always been a celebration of heavy metal, PBR, and community, and this year is no different. Many of the same people are involved each year. We really are like a tight-knit—if dysfunctional—family, and that familial energy and enthusiasm carries over to the production. This year is significant because the theme of the show tackles an issue that is hotly debated in Atlanta in recent years: gentrification.
Always been curious how much of Krampus is scripted vs. improv. Can you talk a little about how the production evolved?
Every year is a little different, but I would say generally the cast attempts to stick to the script. Of course, the joy of live performance, especially raucous, irreverent live performance like Krampus, is that anything can happen.
How long does it take for you to get into make-up and costume for the Krampus? And out of it?
About an hour and a half to get in, given our test runs! Maybe 30 minutes to get out of everything.
Without spoilering too much, do you have a favorite part or scene in this year’s production, and why?
There is a fight between Krampus and several demons. The scale of the fight is impressive, and involves a industrial scissor lift.
You played two key and very different roles in THE THREEPENNY OPERA (read our Retro Review here), which congrats, was extended after good reviews and box office. Brecht wrote it in the twilight years of the Weimar Republic. After the results of the presidential election, did you feel anything eerie about performing it this fall? Anything else you’d like to say about doing THREEPENNY?
I wish I could claim a sense of foreboding during THE THREEPENNY OPERA run, but I ended up every bit as flabbergasted by the election results as everyone else. Honestly, THREEPENNY was simply a fantastic show. For me, it was a great escape from the election-related talking heads and other political noise. The cast was incredible, and I met a lot of very talented, kind people.
7 Stages always strikes us for its daring and its quality—like Off Broadway in Atlanta. What’s it like to work with this phenomenal theater company and are you going to be in any more productions in the 2016-2017 season?
I’m always thrilled to get a call from 7 Stages. They dare to do theatre that few others will. I don’t have any specific plans for the upcoming season as of yet, but those guys have my number.
Anything else you’d like to share about Krampus, 7 Stages or what’s next for you?
I’m excited to have recently joined the Humorology Atlanta team as a hospital clown, and will be working with them a lot this upcoming year. Check us out at the Humorology Atlanta Facebook page here. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new year holds!