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Arts and Entertainment

Theater: 'The Santaland Diaries' Full of Laughter and Mirth

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The Blank Theatre Company brings back 'The Santaland Diaries' with Nicholas Brendon.


The Blank TheatreCompany brings back 'The Santaland Diaries' with Nicholas Brendon.
The one-man play Santaland Diaries is based on a David Sedaris essay "SantaLand Diaries," which made its NPR debut in 1992. In the segment, Sedaris recounts his funny-sad experiences as a desperate, out-of-work writer who takes a job as an elf at Macy's department store during one Christmas season.

The Blank Theatre Company retells Sedaris' humorous tale of woe as it brings back The Santaland Diaries with Nicholas Brendon—yes, Xander from Buffy—for a limited engagement for the Christmas season.

Directed by Michael Matthews, the play follows the writer David and his alter ego Crumpet the Elf, who takes the Macy's gig out of desperation and the need to eat. As the countdown to Santa's big day marches on, Crumpet gets a little more bitter about the holiday marketing season and once in awhile takes his frustrations out on moms, dads and the kids themselves.

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After doing this play for so long, Brendon has this role down. Channeling Sedaris, he spews righteous indignation as an educated person who's obviously too good for an elf job, but who also develops a slight inferiority complex at the thought of not getting the job.

The production opened to a packed house on Saturday, complete with an audience already familiar with the stage play. Some attendees wore Santa hats and elf ears to get into the spirit of the play.

And while The Santaland Diaries started off on a slower foot at the opening, leave it to Brendon to bring the laughs fast and furious as the short play progresses. There were a few little hiccups, but it was opening night and damn, one-person plays are hard! (How do they memorize all that?)

If there are still tickets available for the remaining shows at the Stella Adler, then LAist encourages you to go grab them up. Grab 'em like the flat screen specials on Black Friday.

The Santaland Diaries runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm through Dec. 19 at the Stella Adler Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets are $30. Parking is available at Hollywood & Highland for $2.