Nobody does Christmas like John Waters.

For one thing, he’s been known to have an electric chair in his home as a holiday decoration.
And he spends much of the holiday season each year traveling from town to town to share his views on Christmas. Which are, to put it mildly, unique.

“I talk about whether Christmas is gay, about whether Santa can be erotic, about how to survive a dysfunctional family,” said Waters, speaking from a hotel in Florida. “I love those inflatable (yard decorations) when they’ve been popped and the air is gone out and they’re just sloshing around.”

Considering the fact that Waters has written and directed some of the more offbeat films of the past four decades – “Pink Flamingos,” “Hairspray”  and “Cry-Baby,” for instance – it’s no wonder he has some strange takes on Christmas. Takes that might even be a little offensive to some folks.

So keep that in mind if you’re thinking about bringing the family to “A John Waters Christmas” on Sunday at the State Theatre in Portland. In fact, just don’t bring the family.

The State Theatre’s website includes this note about the show: “Material contains adult content and is not appropriate for children.”

This is the writer/director, after all, who shocked audiences with a feces-eating scene in “Pink Flamingos,” made films featuring a drag queen named Divine, and created a world of hip-yet-creepy hillbillies in “Cry-Baby.” But he also made the fun-loving “Hairspray,” which was later turned into a Broadway musical.

The evening will basically be a one-man show with Waters, 66, standing on the State Theatre stage talking about Christmas.

But in ways you’ve probably never thought about.

“There aren’t that many true crimes that take place right on Christmas, but there are some horrifying things that happen over the holidays … it’s an emotional time and sometimes people go crazy,” said Waters.

Beyond that, you’ll have to see the show for yourself for details: Waters didn’t want to give too much away in the interview. In press materials, he’s quoted as saying he’s “Christmas crazy” this year as well as “needy, greedy, horny for presents and filled with an unnatural desire to please.”

Although he’s mostly known for making films, Waters says doing this Christmas show is just another way to “tell stories.” And that’s what he’s been doing in his unique style over the past 40 years or so, whether it’s been doing live performances, writing books, making films or acting on TV.

Waters writes the Christmas show fresh each year, and does the entire thing on stage from memory, with no notes.

He’s never done the Christmas show in Maine before, “so it probably doesn’t matter to you that I write it new every year, because you’ve never heard the old stuff.”

At the end of the show, Waters will take questions from the audience. And they don’t have to be about Christmas.

Waters says he’ll keep doing Christmas shows for much of December, but will definitely be home in Baltimore for Dec. 25 itself.

“I’ll host a big Christmas party for friends, then I’ll take my mom to my sister’s house,” he said.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

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