The Santaland Diaries is an Atlanta holiday tradition. Based on the essay written by David Sedaris, the play is now in its 13th year at Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Company. If you haven’t been, you should go. If you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Crumpet- the lead character in the play. He’s a rebel without a Claus who recounts the true-life tale of an out of work writer who must take a job as a Macy’s Department Store elf. See Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris this holiday season at Horizon Theatre Company November 25, 2011 – January 1, 2012.
Q. What is The Santaland Diaries, and why is it a must-see?
A. We’ve all seen the cute holiday shows that end with everyone hugging and toasting together around a ridiculously tall Christmas tree. The Santaland Diaries is not that show. In fact, it’s on the other end of the spectrum. This is an adults-only experience for those looking to blow off a little bit of steam and having a riling good time in the midst of the mind-numbing merriness December always brings.
Q. Why does live theater matter?
A. Live theater keeps people employed (including me)! Live theater brings people together! Live theater brings stories – whether for children or the more cynical of heart – to life! And let’s be honest. Where else can you have a grown elf sit on your lap as you sip your favorite holiday beverage and laugh so hard that you spit it all over the lady next to you?
Q. Besides The Santaland Diaries, what are your favorite Atlanta holiday traditions?
A. I work as a department store elf at Macy’s. Once I leave the terrifying world you call Santaland, I would rather die than put myself near more screaming, sticky children. However, I hear ice skating at Centennial Park is nice if you wear a scary mask so as to maintain a 10 foot radius of child-free area around you.
Q. Favorite neighborhoods?
A. If you’ve seen the show (and if you haven’t, you should), then you know I like myself a good drink here and again to help wash away the holiday headaches. I find myself partial to the local spots within walking distance of Horizon in Inman Park and Virginia Highlands.
Q. 24 hours to show a gaggle of tourists around Atlanta. What’s on the agenda?
A. My first and foremost rule: avoid all malls. They’re terrifying. And if you think the traffic is bad on I-85, just try parking at Lenox Mall during the holiday season. Do try a local restaurant or two. It may be surprising, but Atlanta has some of the most innovative chefs in the country. Check out Piedmont Park. And see some live theater (at Horizon!).