note: entire contents copyright 2006 by Beverly Creasey
If you’ve heard David Sedaris relate his hilarious Christmas monologue on public radio, you know how delightful cynicism can be. With his deadpan, almost inflection-free monotone, Sedaris regales us with the insults and injuries of elfdom in THE SANTALAND DIARIES.
Joe Mantello’s stage version restores the affect and yet retains the humor deep inside the humorless drudgery of working at Macy’s for the Christmas rush. John Kuntz is perfection (in Wesley Savick’s smart New Rep production) as the wide-eyed, slowly sobering servant of surly Santas and impatient, greedy parents.
If that weren’t enough fun, the mega-talented Kuntz has written not one, but two wonderful curtain-raisers. The first will have you giggling from now on, every time you hear a certain repetitious English carol. You just don’t see what’s coming (and its inventiveness is inspired!) even though you try to anticipate the next eleven verses. The second piece showcases such deliciously awful gestural choreography that you won’t be able to resist trying to replicate it for your friends. The rush is on. These three tiny treasures disappear on New Year’s Eve.