Venice Theatre’s Stage II Series will present humorist David Sedaris’ one-man comedy, “The Santaland Diaries,” through Saturday Dec. 23. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $30 for adults, $17 for college students and $15 for high school students. Seating is general admission.
The show is not recommended for children or pre-teens due to strong language and adult themes.
“The Santaland Diaries” is a hilarious, sardonic, and sometimes quite touching one-man show that will delight David Sedaris fans and surely create new ones. The 1996 script, adapted by Joe Mantello from Sedaris’ 1992 comic essay and popular NPR broadcast, is about an out-of-work writer who applies to become a Macy’s elf during the holiday crunch. As he encounters thousands of Santa’s visitors, he becomes battle-weary and bitter, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents.
Venice Theatre presented the show last year with Tim Wisgerhof in the role of Crumpet the Elf. Audiences loved it calling it “hilarious,”a must-see,” “hysterical,” and “one of the best one-man shows I’ve seen in a long time.”
Director Dennis Clark returns to direct a new actor in the role this year, member of Actors’ Equity Association, Steven Flaa. Flaa has directed, choreographed and performed at most area venues, including many times at VT.
Clark said, “I love that Venice Theatre produces Dickens’ A Christmas Carol every year on the MainStage while making room for something edgier like ‘Santaland’ in Stage II. The show is a true tour de force for the actor who tackles the role. This year it’s been a delight working with Steven. He is hilarious, just like Tim was, but in surprisingly different ways. I can’t wait to see how the audience reacts to his interpretation.”
When asked if he had a particular connection to his character, Flaa said, “I’ve never been an elf, but I’ve worked retail at many bookstores during the holidays, including B. Dalton on Fifth Avenue, and I know how crazy the season gets.” He adds, “The very first acting job that I ever got paid for was playing a character in a Santa Breakfast at Dayton’s department store in Fargo, North Dakota, during college in 1979. I got 50 bucks.”
Tickets to see Flaa in this critically acclaimed show are available at the box office at 941-488-1115 or online at www.venicestage.com.
Venice Theatre is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave., on the island in Venice. Box office hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before show time.