As a holiday tradition, a viewing of the 1988 action film Die Hard might initially seem unorthodox. Yes, the movie is set on Christmas Eve, but the gloriously violent heroics of John McClane are difficult to reconcile with the whole peace-on-earth thing. But could there be Christmas sentiment beneath the stacks of bullet-strewn corpses? A new holiday production from Dana's Boys and Mainly Me Productions, two of the Twin Cities' most reliable practitioners of parody, looks to find the spirit of the season amid the bloodshed. Like its namesake inspiration, A Very Die Hard Christmas finds a disgruntled cop obliged to singlehandedly defeat a group of "terrorists" who have seized an L.A. highrise. Loudly bashing the jingle bells, however, this stage adaptation amplifies the Yuletide appeal, even incorporating a song or two as McClane dodges shrapnel. The collaborating companies have both previously demonstrated their ingenuity with twisting pop culture. The Saved by the Bell Show has been a durable hit for Dana's Boys, while Mainly Me Productions has scored attention with such inspired absurdities such as the board-game-to-film spoof Jenga! Like those works, A Very Die Hard Christmas embraces the clichés of the source material, suggesting that holiday merriment is found not through schmaltzy sentiment, but via a gift-wrapped blast of Christmas C-4.
Fridays, Saturdays, 10 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 p.m. Starts: Dec. 7. Continues through Dec. 15, 2012