‘The Santaland Diaries’ review
By Parker Thompson, Contributor
As the holiday season arrives, so does the expected cluster of holiday-related theatre. I’m usually a bit of a Scrooge towards Christmas plays, but I was pleasantly surprised by the November 28 Arts Club production of The Santaland Diaries. This satirical narrative of the Christmas season is a holiday play like no other.
The Santaland Diaries was originally written by beloved author David Sedaris as a first-hand account of being a 33-year-old man working as a Christmas elf at a Macy’s department store. This essay has been adapted into a one-man show currently starring Ryan Beil as Crumpet the elf. Throughout the play, we are presented with Crumpet’s day-to-day criticism on life as a Macy’s elf. While Crumpet parodies the Americanized Christmas spirit, he also gives us a handful of moments that remind us exactly why we love the season.
Beil’s comedic timing and ability to drive the story forward is remarkable. The entire audience, myself included, spent the majority of the show in laughter. Sedaris’ humour is exceptionally witty and Beil delivers it perfectly. This is truly a unique approach to the Christmas spirit.
I was also impressed with the variety of seamless set changes and clever directorial choices. The show had a very minimal set, which fit this diary entry style of show well. The props and effects used also managed to be interesting without distracting from the show.
If your family or friends are nagging you to do something festive over the holidays, take them to see The Santaland Diaries, which recently got an extended week of shows lasting until December 29!