Martians will take over Christmas -- or at least the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave. -- come Friday for its latest string of midnight productions.
"Santa Claus vs. The Martians" is a parody based on the 1964 movie "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." John Tomasello makes his Onyx Theatre directing debut with the Las Vegas premiere of the production, which is set to last through Dec. 24.
Tomasello said fans of the movie will recognize some of its same aspects in the play.
"We're keeping Santa sacred and staying true to the movie," Tomasello said. "We added some really funny bits, but lovers of the movie will recognize the cardboard robots and the Christmas surprises."
The play, Tomasello said, contains all aspects that people would expect from a midnight show at the Onyx Theatre . The play includes a parody, actors bringing out their inner child and "a really strong cast."
Among these cast members is Gabriel Gentile, who plays the role of Santa Claus. Gentile said "Santa Claus vs. the Martians" is ideal for the Onyx Theatre's midnight shows because of its comedic elements and appeal to all age groups.
"If you want to see good, clean, wholesome family entertainment, go see 'The Muppets' at the movie theater," Gentile said. "This show is more sardonic humor, so come for the laughs. We're having fun with this, and we expect the audience to have fun with it as well."
There are several opportunities for attendees to be involved with the show, Tomasello said, including toy guns with foam tomatoes for audience members to shoot or throw at the actors. A special Santa Eggnog Brew will also be available for purchase at the concession stand to get people in the mood for the "campy" show.
Santa Claus Face with "Santa Claus vs. The Martians" Gentile said the audience can anticipate an "over-the-top" show.
"There have been a couple of productions of 'Santa Claus vs. The Martians ' but none in Las Vegas," Gentile said.
Tomasello's hope is for Pia Zadora, who lives in Las Vegas and made her feature film debut in "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" as Martian child Girmar, to be among those audience members. However, Tomasello is most looking forward to another first with the show .
"I'm honored and excited to be making my directing debut at the Onyx," Tomasello said. "I love adapting shows for the stage, and I love making this work for the stage. We're going to surprise the audience with some funny substance and a fast-paced show."