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David Sedaris on The Santaland Diaries — The comedian’s experiences as a wicked department store elf make an off-Broadway hit

November 23rd, 2016 by admin

No matter what you plan on doing this Black Friday Weekend, don’t miss David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES, starring Ian Galligan, here at the Shubert!

This wickedly funny one-man show is guaranteed to get you into the holidays off to a hilarious start!


Check out this article from 1996, when the show first opened Off-Broadway, for a bit of the backstory on how it came to be – and why you should add it to your to-do list this weekend…

David Sedaris on The Santaland Diaries – The comedian’s experiences as a wicked department store elf make an off-Broadway hit

December 13 1996

“I’ve always loved Christmas,” admits David Sedaris with exasperation. “I was surprised when people read The Santaland Diaries and thought I was anti-Christmas.”

Actually, the misunderstanding is natural considering the material: Santaland, Sedaris’ caustic true-life tale of his two-year stint as a Macy’s department store elf who offers more holiday sneer than cheer, comes to wickedly hilarious life in a one-man stage adaptation. The sold-out show has quickly become a popular alternative to traditional holiday shows in theatres across America.

After Sedaris quit a teaching job in Chicago (where he studied painting at the prestigious Art Institute) and moved to New York, the only work he could find was doling out candy canes for $7 an hour. But the North Carolina native’s quirky manner didn’t meld with his new elf persona. “You go from people calling you ‘Mr. Sedaris’ to calling you ‘Crumpet,”’ he deadpans. “It plays games with your psyche.”

Actor Ian Galligan as Crumpet

Actor Ian Galligan as Crumpet

Author David Sedaris in his actual Macy's elf costume

Author David Sedaris in his actual Macy’s elf costume

Sedaris, who turns 40 the day after Christmas, turned those games to his advantage. “I wrote it thinking parody, satire,” he laughs. When acclaimed stage director Joe Mantello first read Santaland Diaries in Sedaris’ best-selling 1994 collection Barrel Fever, he saw it as theater. “David’s writing is so peculiar and twisted,” says Mantello. “I had to bring it to the stage.” With Sedaris, Mantello has made Santaland into a funny and poignant tour de force.

“If you play your cards right, Christmas is a time for getting stuff. I’m happy to give. But,” Sedaris says with an elfin grin, “I don’t want to take any chances on getting.”

THE SANTALAND DIARIES runs at the Shubert Theatre THIS WEEKEND – November 25-27! Ticket are on sale now and include a pre-show holiday reception one hour prior to show, including complimentary cocktail and light hors d’oeuvres. Click here for tickets & information: