Winter Park / theatre: ‘Santaland Diaries’ shows us the secret lives of elves |

Winter Park / theatre: ‘Santaland Diaries’ shows us the secret lives of elves

The Grand Theater Company of Winter Park presents “Santaland Diaries” starting Saturday night. The popular show, based on the book by David Sedaris, delves into the not-so-jolly lives of Santa’s little helpers.

“We’ve all questioned the values of annual department-store Santas, but what about the lives of the helper elves? Usually younger and less in the spotlight, what sorts of delusional, out-of-work actors, artists, or those recently laid-off flock to fill those pointy, green shoes?” asked Kimberlee Nanda, co-owner of the Grand Theatre Company. “More importantly, how important is that picture of little Jimmy (or Suzie) sitting on Santa’s lap?”

Actor Aaron Rustabakke reveals the astonishing world of the North Pole in Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries.” The Grand Theatre Company opened the one-man show last Christmas for four performances.

“It did really well and a lot of people asked us to bring it back this season,” said Tanny Nanda, co-owner of the company with his wife, Kimberlee. “It’s a really funny show.”

The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and continues showing through December.

“The well-crafted monologue is both painful and funny,” said Kimberlee. “The story follows Krumpet, an out-of-work actor now working as an elf in Macy’s Santaland, through the hardships of going to a job that is humiliating and unpleasant. Audience members are introduced to the eccentric individuals who reside in SantaLand and experience the absurdity that arises when hundreds of people get in line to sit on Santa’s lap, as well as the pains of elf training, the horrors of obnoxious customers, and the varying techniques of different Santas.

“Coupled with another shorter essay entitled ‘Six to Eight Black Men,’ which explores the differences between our Santa and the Holland Santa, these stories pack enormous laughs into a spectacular evening of live theatre.”

Future performances of the “Santaland Diaries” are on Friday Nov. 30, and on Dec. 1, 7, 8, 15, 19, 21, 23, 27 and 29. All performances are also at 7:30 p.m.

Please note that this show contains adult content and language – Rated (R). But it’s probably Rated PG-13 until right at the end, Tanny said.

The Grand Theatre Company is also pleased to announce its upcoming performances of “Tuna Christmas.” This play is the second in a trilogy of comedic plays, (preceded by “Greater Tuna” and followed by “Red, White and Tuna”), each set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, the “third-smallest” town in the state.

The trilogy, written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, is presented on stage by only two characters, playing every other character in town. Curtains open Friday, Dec. 14, with shows also on Dec. 20, 22, 26, 28 and 30.

Tickets for either show are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for children age 12 and under. The Grand Theatre Company stage is located next to the movie theatre complex and offers a cocktail and dessert service. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Box Office at (970) 726-5048.

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