COME GET ACQUAINTED WITH CRUMPET THE ELF
If you're an out of work actor and if your rent is due, putting you on the edge of eviction, you might be desperate enough to take a seasonal job as an elf at Macy's Department Store. That 's the high level of panic that forces playwright David Sedaris to pen "Santaland Diaries, adapted by Joe Mantello," coming to Music Theatre of Connecticut for the holidays until Sunday, December 20.
Matt Densky wonderfully wraps himself in red and green and gold to assume the persona of Crumpet, not the most compassionate or friendly Christmas creature. Even though he has a plethora of elfin tasks to perform, from elf greeter, magic elf, photography elf, water cooler elf or cash register elf, he never quite manages to enjoy his assignment or complete it well.
Crumpet is definitely an elf with an attitude, both sarcastic and cynical. In this darkly comic look behind the magic curtain, we discover that fantasy land is not always perfection. Children cry and throw tantrums, mothers have high and unrealistic expectations, Santas are not always jolly and nice and Crumpet has seen and experienced it all...unhappily so. It's not the easiest way to avoid losing your home.
As a one man show, one based on Sedaris' real life experiences, Matt Densky knows the success of his mission impossible rests solely on his holiday burdened shoulders. He tells each little story as diary entries recited after the fact, like so many gifts that are opened to discover socks and ties and underwear. If he started out with a cheerful devil-may-care, what-the-heck attitude, the toll of ungrateful kids and super demanding parents overwhelms him. Kevin Connors directs this irreverent through the looking glass peek at Christmas fun on a truly festive set designed by Carl Tallent.
For tickets ($35-55), call MTC, 509 Westport Avenue, behind Nine West, Norwalk at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com.; Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Put on your stocking cap and your pointy tasseled shoes and join the dance of the sugar plum fairies. Not!