The Santaland Diaries

An elf-deprecating monologue on Christmas misery

Hands down one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received was not a copy of David Sedaris’ slim little book Holidays on Ice, but having the giver of this gift read its first short story, “The Santaland Diaries,” out loud to me. I laughed, I cried, I gave him a Christmas surprise. It’s that good. And for the third year in a row, Seattle Public Theatre is hosting a run of the one-man play, which presents Sedaris’ story verbatim. Detailing the ups-and-downs of working as a Macy’s elf during Christmas, its schadenfreude is matched only by the horrifying trip to see Santa in A Christmas Story. Incensed by the bad behavior of the visiting children and the worse behavior of their parents, Sedaris does everything to subtly fuck with them: choosing the name “Crumpet,” flirting with the younger elves, telling a child she’ll see Cher in a magic woodland looking-glass. But not even his starving-artist grump can become a true grinch. As is evident in all of Sedaris’ work, he takes too much joy in people’s absurdities and idiosyncracies. Hear the tale related in this effective monologue, then go home and stage your own for maximum hilarity. John Bianchi plays Crumpet in the SPT performances.

Thursdays-Sundays; Mon., Dec. 24. Starts: Nov. 29. Continues through Dec. 24, 2007

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