Steve Kidd Shines in Hilarious Santaland Diaries

 

The Gamm Theatre is providing a burst of holiday cheer with its presentation of The Santaland Diaries, a hilarious tour de force for Steve Kidd. The show, adapted by Joe Mantello, is based on an essay by humorist David Sedaris, who pokes fun at his own experiences working as a Macy’s elf.

Kidd is a sheer delight as Crumpet, a Macy’s store elf who shares his adventures and (mis) adventures during the busiest shopping time of the year. “I wear green velvet knickers, a forest green velvet smock and a perky little hat decorated with spangles,” Crumpet explains. “This is my work uniform.”

Crumpet details life as an elf and describes all the various responsibilities of the elves: You can be an entrance elf, a water-cooler elf, a bridge elf, train elf, maze elf, island elf, magic-window elf, usher elf, cash-register elf or exit elf. Crumpet is alternately sweet and sarcastic as he recalls dealing with temperamental parents, precocious children, and eccentric Santas.

Kidd skillfully modulates the tone of his voice to portray the denizens of this absurd fantasy world inside of Macy’s, and has the charisma and energy to sustain a one-man show for an hour.

The direction by Tony Estrella was smooth and confident, and Jessica Hill’s set design was bright and atmospheric, with tall Christmas trees, an adorable penguin menagerie, and a cozy haven for Santa.

The Santaland Diaries is a surefire cure for the holiday blues.

The Santaland Diaries runs through December 23 at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre. 172 Exchange St. Pawtucket. For tickets, call 401-723-4266 or visit gammtheatre.org. 

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