The Improvisation Corporation kicked off the Saint John Theatre Company’s Canadian Stages Series tonight, November 30th, with The Santaland Diaries. Neil Bonner stars in this adaptation by Joe Mantello of David Sedaris’s popular essay of the same name, where he recounts his hilarious holiday season working as an elf in Santaland at Macy’s.
David Sedaris has been called the “preeminent humorist of his generation.” He writes regularly for the New York Times and has several collections of essays and diaries including his most recent, Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). The audiobook version of his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls was nominated for best spoken word album at the 56th annual Grammy’s awards show.
Bonner put on a splendid performance in this one-man show. He caught the audience’s attention from the beginning and maintained it to the end, with many laughs and snickers throughout.
The play captures a dim—but now laughable—moment in the astounding career of Sedaris, where he was forced to seek employment as an elf at the age of 33. His description of the Santaland culture (ahem, forced merriment) and the various Santas that he had the pleasure and pain of working with was a unique and comical perspective to experience.
It was quite the ride going through Sedaris’s psyche, from his observation that Santa is an anagram of Satan to his reaction when Phil Collins visited Santaland.
This show will definitely get you in the holiday spirit and puts a nice twist on your classic holiday tale. What’s also nice about this show is it’s one act, with a run time of about an hour and fifteen minutes.
If you enjoy comedy and are looking for a great date night, check this out. The BMO has its cabaret-style tables set up at the front; get there early to get a table! There are two performances left, so get your tickets ($22.50/$15 for students) now for Friday or Saturday at the BMO Studio Theatre at 7:30 p.m.