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The Santaland Diaries

I first read David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries a few years back. I remember laughing until my stomach hurt, but seeing a live version of his hilarious tale is somehow even funnier. The production, currently on stage at the IndyFringe Theatre, explores Sedaris’ personal experiences working as an elf at Macy’s. This Christmas show is definitely for adults only, which of course means you know it’s going to be funny.

Scot Greenwell plays Crumpet the elf with equal parts impish glee and cynical sass. He makes acidic jokes about controlling parents, delusional Santas and his fellow elves all while learning something about the true meaning of Christmas.

Decked out in candy cane tights and a jingle bell hat, Crumpet attempts to hang on to his sanity (and dignity) in the middle of Macy’s hectic Santaland. The intentionally atrocious costume is just one small aspect of the department store’s over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. Oversized candy and fake snow crowd together to help create this wonderfully cheesy version of the North Pole.

This was my first experience seeing a show in the Indy Fringe Theatre. The small building provides a perfect setting for intimate productions. The high ceilings and open rafters keep it from feeling claustrophobic and the small stage is just right for this one-man show.

If you love Sedaris’ irreverent essays or have ever wished for a bit more rum in your eggnog or for fewer showings of weepy Lifetime Christmas movies, this is definitely the Christmas show for you. Take your mom to a traditional holiday show and then treat yourself to this sarcastic gem.

Don't Miss the Show

Indy Fringe Theatre through Sunday, December 12, 2010, with evening performances tonight, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday. For more information call (317) 721-9458 or visit the IndyFringe website here. The theatre is located just off Mass Ave at 719 E St Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Photos Courtesy of Melinda Seader