Writer David Sedaris’ true account of two Christmas seasons he spent working as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York are depicted in this show created specifically for the holiday season. Thom Hofrichter directs The Santaland Diaries when it is presented Dec. 20-21 at First Presbyterian Theater in Fort Wayne.
Think you’re stressed out during the holidays? Try being one of Santa’s helpers. As it turns out, being surrounded by children, tinsel, and merriment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but it can be funny when it’s firmly planted in the rearview mirror. With a satirical style reminiscent of Mark Twain, humorist David Sedaris wrote about the downside of holiday joy in a collection of fanciful stories based on a time when he was broke and out of work, forcing him to take a job as an elf to make ends meet. Suffering the job’s indignities, Sedaris tells his tales with cynicism and bitterness but is also entertaining, amusing, and, believe it or not, uplifting.
When a shorter version of this story first aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, it generated more tape requests than any story in the show’s history to that point.
The Santaland Diaries isn’t a tale in the vein of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and other standard holiday fare. The delivery is dry and the stage adaptation allows actor Kevin Torwelle, who reprises his role as Crumpet the elf, to bring the tale to three-dimensional life.
If you’re experiencing a case of the “holiday blues,” this may be just the antidote for you. This show is rated R for content.