THE SANTALAND DIARIES – “Puts a ho ho ho in the holiday season”
– Theatre Review by Sandro Monetti
Give yourself a Christmas present and get a ticket to this funny festive show which puts a ho ho ho in the holiday season.
It follows the humiliating adventures of a broke and desperate actor who takes a job as an elf named Crumpet in Santaland at Macy’s and endures the worst parts of humanity as pushy parents and cringeworthy colleagues soon make him lose any Christmas cheer.
Armed with a ridiculous costume but obvious stage experience, Matt Crabtree keeps the audience laughing throughout this energetic one man show as he relates his hilarious tales of woe. He’s especially good when becoming unhinged and starting to see Santa as Satan.
Adapted from a modern Christmas classic by humorist David Sedaris, the play works because instead of rushing for the laughs, director Deidra Edwards takes time at the beginning to build up the pathos and perspective of the character so that the jokes pay off so much more later on.
Special praise too for scenic designer David Mauer whose Christmassy set of snow, presents and festive paraphernalia transform the charming but intimate Working Stage Theatre into a Willy Wonka style wonderland.
This won’t be the happiest show you see this Christmas but it may well be the most witty.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
Written by David Sedaris. Adapted by Joe Mantello
At the Working Stage Theatre
1516 N. Gardner Street, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Thurs, Fri and Sat at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm until December 21 2014
Tickets $25 from Brown Paper Tickets
Starring: Matt Crabtree
Director: Deidra Edwards
Produced by: D&ME Productions LLC and Brenda Davidson
Scenic Design: David Mauer
Lighting and Sound Design: Amanda Mauer
Stage Manger: Daniel Coronel
Publicity: Ken Werther Publicity
Photo of Sandro Monetti by Dawn Bowery from the book California Dreaming: Brits in LA Book
Thespian Thoughts is a theatre review article on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.