When Crumpet Meets Tidings of Joy
The Santaland Diaries penned by humorist David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello and directed by longtime Goodman Artistic Associate Steve Scott, is a comedy told from the observations of an Elf who is primarily naughty than nice from an unemployed broke actor looking for work; that happens to land a gig at the infamous Macy's Santaland during the holiday season.
As the folklore tale goes ‘The Elves,’ Santa helpers work around the clock none stop in their green outfit with pointy shoes watching over the children day and night returning to the North Pole to report on whether the children have been naughty or nice.
However, what happens when the ‘Elf’ has been naughty? In ‘The Santaland Diaries you get a very different perspective of how Santa's little helper is behaving. In this one man, foul-mouth festive play starring Matt Crowle; is where you get to see what's really going on in the mind of an Elf called "Crumpet."
The malarkey surrounding Christmas can be a bit too much; especially if you're one of the few who doesn't like this particular holiday. For those who are a little disgruntle like Crumpet about this overextended season it can become a long nightmare that will never end; especially when you find yourself taking an elf gig because you are strapped for cash.
Christmas to a child is all about Santa Claus and occasionally when visiting Santa at a department store, a little about his helpers known as ‘The Elves' leading them to St. Nick so that they can whisper a wish in his ear. Most of us probably never wondered how the elves feel when it came to being the Jolly old guy's little helper, however, based on Crumpet depiction most are just trying to make it through the season as fast as possible without losing their sanity.
This hour-long monologue is full of mischievous humor and dagger-sharp observations beyond the candy canes from a New York City actor who is muddling along in his full-time elf position taking notice of the other elves, the different Santa’s, and the agitated parents who accompany their children to the throne.
We observe how Crumpet becomes progressively tormented as Christmas nears and the customers become more cantankerous to deal with in Santaland; often threatening to have him fired. However, as time progresses in this one man skit you will get to learn a lot about Crumpet the elf that is cynical and skeptical about the things we are told to celebrate in this world through a well-written narrative of quirkiness.
Kudos to Kevin Depinet's for turning the Owen Theatre at Goodman Theatre into a spectacular Santaland at
Macy's department store. Where the throne of Santa Claus dominates the dazzling red and green ‘Santaland' set with a backdrop of striped stockings jingle bells, and pointy-toe booted legs in the air. A place that is filled with holiday cheer, vibrant inviting colors, decorated trees and lights, gigantic candy canes, a lollipop chair, and a smiling snowman.
This will put any child right in the mood to go and set on Santa's lap, wishing for the perfect gift for Christmas. However, let's be clear with all of the holiday flares that ‘The Santaland Diaries' offer it may look tempting to bring your little one but don't be fooled this is not a play for children. "For Mature Elves Only!"
Matt Crowle is the perfect naughty elf and will keep you entertained and laughing throughout the play. If you’re looking for a fresh take on Christmas from another perspective of adult humor Let’s Play ‘Recommend’ that you check out ‘The Santaland Diaries' at Goodman Theatre, dare we say it, where a potty mouth is accepted on the throne of Santa!
The Santaland Diaries
Adapted by Joe Mantello
Directed by longtime Goodman Artistic Associate Steve Scott
NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 30
Filed under: ChicagoNow