Actor Matthew Fleming (left) and director David Fuller (right) share a little holiday cheer! Actor Matthew Fleming (left) and director David Fuller (right) share a little holiday cheer! Submitted photo
Written by  Nov 10, 2016

TDJ Brings Santaland to the Port City Dec 9th

Need a little jeer with your holiday cheer? The Santaland Diaries come to the Port City!

“A sardonic, merrily subversive tale – just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!” – NY Newsday

You might not expect "Santa's helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The author and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf ALTER EGO-CRUMPET. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he first read on Morning Edition in 1992. He was brought to NPR by an up-and-coming producer named Ira Glass.

Santaland PosterWith sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, author David Sedaris had become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

"The Santaland Diaries" appeals to me on so many levels. Mused director, David Fuller. I’ve worked in retail; I've worked in situations where I have to maintain an improvised character for hours around people of all ages and backgrounds; and I've often felt myself to be an observer of the oddities of other people's behavior. In this piece, Sedaris presents us with such a beautiful truth -- so many of us walk that fine line between wanting to find our place, and wanting that place to be different than it is. The kids who believe in Santa Claus aren't the only ones with impossible-to-fill desires. The magic of this piece is that there IS no magic - until we choose to create it and believe in it.

“The Santaland Diaries is quite possibly the thirty-one funniest pages of text published in the past quarter century... David Sedaris slays me” -Seattle Weekly

Like many people, David Sedaris' imaginative take on everyday social situations never fails to make me laugh. Local favorite, actor Matthew Fleming ruminates. But underneath the veneer of humor and colorful embellishment, there is something much more striking: a dark take on reality that I find (if sometimes uncomfortably) familiar. As I grow older and my appreciation of the things I love changes, I find myself still roaring at Mr. Sedaris' razor sharp wit, but seeing more of myself- his unique interpretation of life, the almost self-obsessed insecurity and the wielding of humor as an emotional shield against a world which might reject him. All of these qualities are brilliantly and colorfully on display in Santaland and while the words and scenes obviously originate with David Sedaris, there is clearly a great deal of Crumpet the elf in me and given how widely popular the author's catalog of works are, perhaps there's a little bit of Crumpet in many others as well.

“The Santaland Diaries” comes to Oswego:

(Part of the Quality Inn / GS Steamers Dinner Theatre Series) on December 9, Syracuse

(Part of the Barnes Hiscock Mansion Dinner Theatre Series) on December 11 and Mexico

(Part of the Eis House Dinner Theatre Series) on December 15.

For more information or to secure your dinner theatre experience, which includes holiday themed photo booth, festive music & cocktail hour, dinner & a holly jolly production visit dujourcny.com.

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