Christmas is for the children. Isn’t that what they say? It’s true, what with Santa and elves on shelves, cookies, stockings, and toys. But what about the adults? Parents deserve their own special brand of holiday cheer too (beyond those oh-so-boring office parties).
The Playhouse‘s got us covered. This month they’re showing The Santaland Diaries and Season’s Greetings, two one-act plays based on Christmas essays by David Sedaris. And, Santababy, these ain’t your mama’s holiday productions.
Jimmy Moore kicks things off in The Santaland Diaries with his dastardly portrayal of a 32-year-old elf working at Macy’s Santaland. When his character’s big New York City dream of sailing into town to land a role on his favorite soap opera, One Life to Live, is dashed, he succumbs to the only job he can find: Elf. What follows is his wildly sarcastic yet charming and smack-your-thigh hilarious description of his journey to unearth a bit of Christmas spirit while being repeatedly bashed over the head by the Macy’s faux, saccharine version of the holiday.
In Season’s Greetings Molly Cox dons a wig and whips out an authentic southern drawl to embody Jocelyn Dunbar, a middle-aged housewife whose seemingly perfect American family falls into tragedy and disrepute. Her vodka-fueled attempt at writing her annual Christmas letter about their downfall reveals a woman on the edge who, it turns out, may (or may not!) be responsible for putting herself there. Cox brings a perfect balance of humor, slinking darkness, and depth to the role. She is a friend of mine in real life but no matter how hard I squinted or tried, I simply could not see Molly Cox in there, lurking behind her character. Jocelyn was IN THE HOUSE. She blew me away. (That’s what she said. Sorry. Inside joke.)
Big props to director Shelly Chance who drew out virtuoso performances from these two superb actors like a conductor coaxing Pink Martini tunes from exquisitely-tuned violins. And kudos to the crew who swapped out sets in record time and ran stellar sound. Sedaris would be proud.
I beg of you to remember: you’re a parent, but you’re still a person. As such, you deserve a gift worthy of you (in all of your pre-kid, raunchy, fun-loving glory) this holiday season. Enjoy a naughty night out filled with hilarious, and enjoyably offensive, holiday fun with a few gasps and surprises thrown in for good measure.
The Santaland Diaries and Season’s Greetings are playing to sold out houses so, lucky for you, The Playhouse extended the run! Get your tickets now before they’re gone. Shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Sunday, December 23.