This is a past event.

The Santaland Diaries 

When: Dec. 9-11, 8 p.m. and Dec. 11-12, 3 p.m. 2010
Price: $20

Department store Santas are looked at with a combination of scorn and suspicion. The image of the drunken bum cast aside to make way for the "real" Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th St. has devolved over the years to Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, a scornful mix of booze and other vices dedicated to robbing the store. And that character is still less perverse than some Santas I've heard of. But consider the plight of the Santa—beset with low pay, large crowds, angry bosses and hyperactive children with hyperactive bladders. Such is the tale woven by Raleigh native David Sedaris, now a beloved figure of American humor, in The Santaland Diaries, a hilarious tale of woe re-created on the stage by Jesse R. Gephart in this collaboration between Automatic Vaudeville and Theatre in the Park. From the hallowed halls of Macy's Santaland in NYC comes Sedaris' dry recollections of what it is to be surrounded by "bitter elves, quirky Santas, screaming children and desperate parents." Attend this production, which runs Dec. 9–11 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 11–12 at 3 p.m., and in the future look upon the department store Santas with a sympathetic eye. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students/seniors/military/subscribers. —Zack Smith

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