Snapshots of families you barely know tumble out of the red and green envelopes in your mail. Hackneyed carols cloy the air in supermarkets. The average Starbucks smells like a nutmeg emporium.
If, experiencing such exasperating phenomena, you long to give the yuletide spirit a savage poke in the eye, you will warm to “The Night Before Christmas,” Anthony Neilson’s irreverent comedy about cynical modern singles tangling with an elf. Now in a sassy, agreeably rough-hewn production from Theater Alliance — which is presenting it in repertory with the Frank Capra-derived “Wonderful Life” — Neilson’s expletive-peppered one-act pokes fun at sentiment, commercialism and greed, while turning sleigh-and-reindeer mythology inside out.