Have you ever wondered about the life of an elf working at Macy's during the Christmas season? Now is your opportunity to find out in the rollicking comedy The Santaland Diaries
currently playing at WaterTower Theatre. Santaland
, by humorist David Sedaris, was presented Off-Broadway for a brief run in 1996, where it was adapted by Joe Mantello and have since been preformed by several regional theatres.
Santaland lasts one hour and has only one character, a hapless soul who takes a job as an elf during the Holiday Season to make extra money and takes the elf name of Crumpet. Ted Wold's performance as Crumpet was extraordinary. He used many techniques—vocal inflection, facial expression and even singing "Away In A Manger" a la Billie Holiday to command our attention. Of significant note was the fact that he told stories about four people and was able to play all the characters simultaneously just by changing his voice slightly. A new kind of award would have to be invented to honor Mr. Wold's performance.
Under Terry Martin's imaginative direction, our attention never flags. Santaland contains many truly inspired touches, such as when Crumpet changes from his street clothes to official elf costume in less than a minute. Mr. Martin also designed the clever set, which includes a great overstuffed chair for Crumpet to reveal what happens when children sit in Santa's lap at Macy's. Michael A. Robinson's elf costume for Crumpet was as funny as the most outrageous lines in the play.
The Santaland Diaries benefits from hysterical laughs and a monumental performance by Ted Wold. It is a delightful change of pace from the Holiday fare one finds this time of year.
The Santaland Diaries will run at WaterTower Theatre through December 23. For more information, please visit the theatre's website.
Please Note: This production contains adult language and is intended for mature audiences only.
Photo Credit: Mark Oristano