Theater Wit’s “The Santaland Diaries” Review – Anti-Tradition Tradition

 

Few modern writers have that ability of getting you to laugh out loud, even if you are having a very bad day.  David Sedaris would be on the top of the list of today’s belly laugh makers and “The Santaland Diaries” is one of his seminal works.

 

 

Sedaris’ stock in trade is skewering convention and shining a light on life’s absurdities.  “The Santaland Diaries”, which recounts his time working as a paid Elf in Macy’s Department Store during Xmas season, quickly secured its place as a Christmas classic.  Some may say there is no war against Christmas.  One imagines Sedaris to say, “You bet, and here’s my tank and ammunition.”

 

 

He wears striped tights and he has jingly bells on his tunic, so when Mitchell Fain who re-tells Sedaris’ tale by assuming the Sedaris persona goes into elf costume we may be tempted to call him “cute as a button”—until he speaks.  In Fain's performance, we hear the edge in Sedaris’ words quite clearly.  

 

 

This is the kind of performance that seems like it will vary a great deal from night to night and how Fain reacts to the energy of the crowd.  The best parts seem to be when Fain goes off-script and into Fain land.   This audience member was left hungry to see a show of Fain doing his own material in a one-man show.  

 

Now in it’s twelfth year, Theater Wit’s production of “The Santaland Diaries” runs through December 30 and is a recommended antidote for those of us who cringe at too much forced holiday season cheer. 

 

For tickets or information visit the Theater Wit website or call the box office at 773 975 8150.

 

Theater Wit

 

1229 North Belmont

 

Chicago

 

-30-

 

Photos:  Courtesy of Theater Wit

 

 

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