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On Stage

On Stage: The Santaland Diaries


The Santaland Diaries, an essay by David Sedaris, made its debut nearly 24 years ago on December 23, 1992. Sedaris read the essay on NPR's Morning Edition where it was so enjoyed by listeners that Sedaris later published the piece in two collections: Barrel Fever in 1994 and Holidays On Ice in 1997.

The comic tale of a struggling actor who takes work as a department store elf for the holiday season, The Santaland Diaries was adapted for the stage in 1996 by Joe Mantello who turned the essay into a one man show. Timothy Olyphant originated the role of Crumpet, the unfailingly upbeat elf, on stage at New York City's Atlantic Theater Company on November 7, 1996.

Mantello's adaptation has grown into a holiday favorite; a popular production for theater companies ranging from high school to college and regional. If you'd like to see The Santaland Diaries live and on stage. You'll need to take a little holiday road trip to Kansas City where the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is producing the show through December 24. Be sure to call ahead before you make that trip.

If you'd rather stay closer to home the theater league has an evening of holiday music for your pleasure. Broadway Christmas Wonderland is on stage from December 20 to December 22 at Century II.