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Silent Night of the Lambs 

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What happens when Silence of the Lambs meets "Silent Night"? Only Running With Scissors knows — or maybe they don't. Silent Night of the Lambs, the latest comic bedlam from our resident lunatics, dives into a bloody dark corner of Christmas, but the fun comes more from the determined eccentricity of the players than any logical progression of the story.

  That eccentricity keeps Running With Scissors fresh despite the troupe's devotion to campy satires of movies and popular entertainment. As our local avatars of the great Charles Ludlam and his Ridiculous Theatrical Company, we can but hope they will at times forsake the satiric approach for something more imaginative.

  Most of the usual suspects are on board in this outing, which takes place "somewhere north of the Arctic Circle." Clarice Starling (Dorian Rush), a reindeer, tries to elicit help from Santa Claus (Brian Peterson) to track down a serial killer who's putting a chill on yuletide cheer. I suppose the play (written by Ryan Landry) could be classified as a mystery, given the criminal activity, but the killings seem about as real as Kris Kringle's annual sleigh ride — although we do learn that Tiny Tim's head has been severed.

  As usual in Running With Scissors presentations, there are many innuendos and if you miss a sexual reference, a grimace on stage will clue you in.

  The excellent cast includes Wesley Callaway, Jack Long and Lisa Picone. Brad Caldwell designed the set, Brian Peterson did the wigs, Valerie Johnson created the costumes and Liz Zibilich provided the props. Also, as usual, directing of the show was shared among the cast and Richard Read. ­— Dalt Wonk

Silent Night of the Lambs

8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 6 p.m. Sun.; through Dec. 27

Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812;

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