Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Play: Santaland Diaries

David Raymond Sedaris (born December 26, 1956) is an American hunorist, comedian, author and radio contributor nominated for a Grammy Award. Sedaris has been described as 'the rock star of writers'. He was publicly recognized in 1992 when National Public radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries". He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. His next five essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), M Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004), and When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008), became New York Times best sellers. In 2010, he released a collection of anthropomorphic stores, squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. By 2008 his books had sold seven million copies. Much of Sedaris's humor is autobiographical and self-deprecating, and often concerns his family life, his middle-class upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, Greek heritage, jobs, education, drug use, obsessive behaviors and his life in France, London and the South Dawns.

About the play ...

Sedaris first read the essay on National Public Radio's Morning Edition on December 23, 1992. The piece was well-received, and provided Sedaris with his first major break. Sedaris later published the essay i the collections Barrel Fever (1994) and Holidays on Ice (1997). A much longer version of the piece first aired on December 20, 1996 on Public Radio International program This American Life. In 1996, Joe Mantello adapted Sedaris' essay for the stage as a one-man, one-act play, which debuted (as The SantaLand Diaries) at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York on November 7, 1996.
In this one-man, one-act play Kirk Dickens, a former Theater Arts teacher from the US, shares his humorous interpretation of the play. Needing a job, he applies as an elf for department stores promotional of selling Christmas and all jazz. As Crumpet the Elf, he laughs at the idiocy of his fellow elves and the Santa's, at people whose snobbery made them order Crumpet to do certain things they thought elves and santas must do for their children. He points a derisive finger at the lunacy of the marketing system and surprisingly shows character and conscience development at the events of Christmas he never questioned but now sees as fake.
Crumpet the Elf is witty and thought-provoking.

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