The Santaland Diaries | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance, Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31 2010
Price: $18-$35
David Sedaris can't hold a candle to Jackie Hoffman, whose Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition set the bar for Yuletide nasty last winter. But he's a formidable curmudgeon all the same, and his 1996 tale of working as one of Santa's helpers at Macy's has become a subversive Christmas classic in this solo stage version written by Joe Mantello. Mitchell Fain is something of a classic, too: having performed the show a number of times, he's made it so much his own that it's not always easy to distinguish his innovations and updates, snits and tantrums from what's in the script. Fain is ferociously bitchy and unapologetically inappropriate as Crumpet the anomic elf, which makes a late moment in the piece--when he has momentary contact with decency--all the more effective. Still, Fain could stand to toughen up even more. When a lady's cell phone went off during the performance I saw, he confiscated it but promised to give it back later. Jackie Hoffman would've made her eat it. --Tony Adler

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