By Special to the Daily World
Ring in the holiday season with laughter as Horizon Theatre Company brings back its popular annual holiday production of “The Santaland Diaries” written by David Sedaris and directed by Co-Artistic Director Jeff Adler.
Sardonic, satirical and sarcastic, our merry misanthrope, played for the 13th year by Harold M. Leaver, recounts the tale of his stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf. Adapted from David Sedaris’ best-selling book “Holidays on Ice,” this holiday tale is a modern classic made famous when it aired on National Public Radio.
“The Santaland Diaries” opens Nov. 25 and runs through Jan. 1, 2012. This show is recommended for ages 16 and up. There will be performances on Horizon Theatre Company is located at the corner of Euclid and Austin avenues in Little Five Points.
This story deals with an out of work and middle-aged writer in need of holiday cash, who decides to employ his gift for insightful observation in the trade of elfdom at Macy’s Department Store.
Besieged by bratty kids with overzealous parents and donning a humiliating costume, he finds that his cynical self and his elfin alter ego, “Crumpet,” are not exactly compatible.
His remedy for the saccharine overdose he endures in his never-endingly exuberant job is to tell all – giving us a backstage pass to the secret lives of Santas and elves. Though definitely not your traditional stocking stuffer, The Santaland Diaries carol is a laughter-spiked antidote to the holiday blues. The Santaland Diaries serves up holiday cheer and sneer – and a rebel without a Claus.
Playwright David Sedaris may well be the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star. He made his comic debut recounting his strange-but-true experiences of his job as a Macy’s elf clad in green tights, reading his “Santaland Diaries” on NPR’s Morning Edition. His sardonic wit and incisive social critique have since made him one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. Sedaris is the author of several bestsellers. His essays appear regularly in Esquire and The New Yorker.
Sedaris’ original radio pieces can often be heard on “This American Life,” distributed nationally by Public Radio International. He was named by Time magazine as “Humorist of the Year” in 2001.
Harold M. Leaver (Crumpet) is delighted to be returning to “The Santaland Diaries” for his 13th year; Megan Hayes (Sidekick) was last seen at Horizon Theatre as Didi in Tree; and Enoch King (Sidekick), who has several local credits to his acting career. Director Jeff Adler has directed numerous productions for Horizon Theatre, beginning with Horizon’s first production “Bonjour, la, Bonjour” in 1983. Others who are part of the production include the creative team of several designers and stage manager Jessica Lewis.
General admission tickets for “The Santaland Diaries” are $25 to $45. Tickets may be ordered by phone at 404-584-7450 or online at horizontheatre.com. Performances will be Nov. 25 through Jan.1, 2012: Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 6 p.m. Christmas Day performance is at 8 p.m. There also are performances on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. All ticket sales include 8 percent sales tax. Holiday gift certificates are also available and there are VIP tickets, as well.