Although it began twenty years ago as just another NPR Christmas tale, David Sedaris’s The SantaLand Diaries has become a celebrated holiday institution. Chronicling the true story of Sedaris’s time working as an elf at Macy’s, the story carries a tone of extreme cynicism and hilarious tragedy.
“I think what makes Sedaris such a fantastic writer and satirist is his ability to tap into the dark underbelly of any surface situation,” says Matt Zambrano, star of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s adaptation of the play, which opens tonight at the Garner Galle-ria Theatre. “We all innately know that the Coca-Cola-zation of Christmas has grown out of control, and that sometimes gathering for the holidays can really be a big pain in the ass. Sedaris really gets underneath that all and asks, ‘Why?’
“It’s not the holiday that’s the problem; it’s the people who have to make the holiday hell for everyone around them,” continues Zambrano. “At the heart of this play is a cynical man who is trying to cope with the candy-cane chaos around him, and despite the crying babies, racist parents, entitled Santas, and overall demoralizing and humiliating experience of being an elf, he finds hope and a faint glimmer of Christmas magic.”
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See The SantaLand Diaries starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Garner Galleria in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; the run continues through December 24. Get tickets, starting at $25, and information at denvercenter.org.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 29. Continues through Dec. 24, 2013