What’s more Christmassy than Joan Didion? Absolutely nothing. Seattle’s Hugo House is pleased to announce that the world premiere of A Very Didion Christmas will be held in Hugo House’s Lapis Theatre on December 22, 2018.
In this uproariously inappropriate cabaret act, audiences will get to meet not one but two incarnations of the literary legend’s immortal spirit—“Malibu Joan” and “Manhattan Joan”—as she prepares for Christmas. Didion will sing some of her favorite Christmas songs (including the classic “Have a Donner Party Christmas”), share a favorite holiday recipe, and reflect on her experiences in the afterlife hanging out with Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell.
The show is written and performed by Christopher Frizzelle, editor of The Stranger, and Sarah Paul Ocampo, cofounder of the literary performance group The Typing Explosion. Frizzelle and Ocampo have both been active in the Seattle arts community for over two decades, but this is their first time creating a theatrical experience together.
“We were thrilled when Hugo House agreed to run with our idea,” Ocampo said. “The show is part dreamscape memory and part lecture hall lounge act. I think anyone who enjoys a campy romp will appreciate it.”
Joan Didion, author of Slouching Toward Bethlehem, The White Album, and The Year of Magical Thinking—among many, many others—is one of the most celebrated writers living today. Over her more than sixty years in the industry, she has written everything from journalistic features to novels, memoirs to screenplays, and more. The Center Will Not Hold, a documentary made about her life by her nephew, filmmaker Griffin Dunne, was released on Netflix in November.
“I wish more people would read Joan Didion,” Frizzelle said. “We would not have the best books of the 20th century without her. Maybe off-beat shows like this could help.”
The show will be held at 7 p.m. on December 22. Tickets cost $16 for Hugo House members and $20 general admission. The bar will be open for attendees over 21.