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Review: The Santaland Diaries/Theater Wit | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED Twenty years ago, a relatively unknown David Sedaris burst onto the NPR scene with a first-hand account of working as a Macy's elf. The rest, as they say, is history. Joe Mantello adapted the short story into a snippy one-man show, which star Mitchell Fain declares at the start is detested by Sedaris. Whether or not the author has a problem with the stage version, Chicago does not. Now in its ninth season and directed for Theater Wit by Jeremy Wechsler, "The Santaland Diaries" is a sardonic look at the false merriment manufactured by big retail stores. As Crumpet (the disgruntled elf), Fain explicitly states that he is not David Sedaris and isn't trying to be. Fain also establishes that the theater is his house and his casual manners are comforting, like listening to an old friend tell jokes over cocktails. In a sort of North Pole open mic, Fain really gets down to the true meaning of Christmas, which is shopping. From the frontlines of retail nobody is safe from his