CHICAGO, November 2, 2012 — What would Chicago's list of holiday shows be without Theater Wit's always popular revival of The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris at the top of the naughty column?
A sad holiday indeed. But fear not, because Mitchell Fain is unfurling his candy stripe tights once more for Theater Wit's ninth consecutive outing of The Santaland Diaries. Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, and directed by Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, The Santaland Diaries returns November 23-December 30, 2012 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Chicago.
Hailed as the "24 funniest pages ever written in the English language," David Sedaris' uproariously funny, true tale about his less than merry misadventures as a Christmas elf gone bad is a must-see celebration of the desperation of unemployment, the insanity of Christmas shopping and the ineffable "cheer" of the holiday spirit. Don't miss Theater Wit's annual chance to spend some one-on-one time with the irreverent Crumpet, as Santa's reluctant little helper struggles to maintain his dignity while confronted by competitive elves, scary Santas, thousands of selfish shoppers and their obnoxious kiddies during the Macy's Christmas rush.
Press opening for is Friday, November 23, 7:30 p.m. Performances continue Saturday,November 24 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 25 at 3 and 7 p.m.; Thursday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 and9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 2 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 7 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 9 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 14 at 7:30 and9:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 16 at 3 and 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December21 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 22 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 23at 3 and 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 28 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 29 at 7:30 and 9:30p.m.; and Sunday, December 30 at 3 p.m.
Tickets to The Santaland Diaries range from $18 to $35. Check Theater Wit's website or call the box office to learn about possible additional holiday week performances. For tickets and information, call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150 or visit TheaterWit.org .
Theater Wit's The Santaland Diaries: Behind the Scenes
The ideal holiday tradition for people who don't believe in holiday traditions, Theater Wit's The Santaland Diaries has been called "a martini-flavored antidote to Christmas cheer" by Time Out Chicago, "80 minutes of legit laughs" by the Chicago Sun-Times and "Absolutely hilarious. #1 Show to See Now" by New City. Gay Chicago praised Fain's "drop dead comic delivery," while the Chicago Tribune called him "a natural raconteur in a production that feels fresh with just the right sensibility."
The Santaland Diaries first aired on December 23, 1992, instantly making David Sedaris an overnight sensation after he first read his autobiographical essay on National Public Radio'sMorning Edition. With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris has since become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. He is the author of Barrel Fever andHolidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day,Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, each of which became a bestseller. There are seven million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages. He was the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in "The Best American Essays." His newest book, a collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chip.m.unk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer), was published in September 2010 and immediately hit the NYT Bestseller Fiction List. He and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name "The Talent Family" and have written plays produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobbler's Knob and The Book of Liz, which was published by Dramatists Play Service. Sedaris's original radio pieces can be heard on This American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ. Sedaris has been nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word and Best Comedy Album. His most recent live album is David Sedaris: Live For Your Listening Pleasure (November 2009).
Mitchell Fain (Elf) is once again excited to don his stripy tights and jingle his bells in The Santaland Diaries with Theater Wit. He was last seen at the Chicago Humanities Festival's production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins and on The Norwegian Star as a part of a Second City touring company performing improve/sketch comedy. Prior to that he co-directed TheCircus-In-The-Parks 2012 for The Midnight Circus and last season was in the Chicago premiere of This at Theater Wit. Other credits include Looking glass Alice, Stilettos, Circus and Soul, Hamlet-The Musical, Henry VI, Hamlet, Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As Bees in Honey Drown, Bitches, Hayfever, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Lynching of Leo Frank. Fain are an Artistic Associate of Chicago's The Midnight Circus and About Face Theatre as well as co-host of The Windy City Queercast. He was born and educated in Rhode Island and then moved to Chicago to grow up.
Jeremy Wechsler (director) is the artistic director of Theater Wit where he has directed Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), The Four of Us (Itamar Moses),Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen),Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. Other directing credits include: A Taste of Honey(Shelagh Delaney), The Play About the Squirrel (Mia McCullough), The White Devil (John Webster), The Real Thing (Tom Stoppard), Szinhaz (Itamar Moses), The Duchess of Malfi(John Webster), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare), The Roaring Girl (Thomas Middleton),Flight (Mikhail Bulgakov), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Paul Rudnick), This is the Rill Speaking (Lanford
Wilson), Hay Fever (Noel Coward) Now Then Again (Penny Penniston), A Month in the Country (Brian Friel), Europe (David Grieg), Henry VI: Blood of a Nation (Shakespeare), The Promise (Jose Rivera), Un Robot (Laura Jacqmin), The Coarse Acting Show (Michael Green) Life is a Dream (Calderon), The Prisoner's Dilemma (David Edgar), Cabaret(Kander/Ebb) and The Threepenny Opera (Brecht). Wechsler's productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new work. He has taught at several universities, is an artistic associate at Collaboraction and currently serves on the board of the League of Chicago Theatres.
Designers for The Santaland Diaries are Joey Wade, set; Mara Blumenfeld, costumes; Mike Durst, lights; and Joe Fosco, sound. Katie Klemme is stage manager.
More about Theater Wit's 2012-2013 Season
Following The Santaland Diaries, Theater Wit's next 2012-2013 production is the Midwest premiere of Completeness, the best rom-com EVER, February 7 — March 30, 2013. The newest play by Itamar Moses, author of Wit's 2011 hit The Four of Us, Completeness is the tale of brainy grad students toggling in and out of love, and hypothesizes that modern romance is more complex than any scientific problem ever. Jeremy Wechsler directs.
In addition to presenting its own productions in 2012-2013, Theater Wit's three 99-seat theaters are booked with an eclectic slate of new plays and musicals by Chicago's most popular and accomplished off-Loop theater companies. Resident companies presenting their full seasons at Wit in 2012-2013 are New Millennium Theatre Company and Stage Left Theatre. Visiting companies include Book and Lyrics Theatricals, Griffin Theatre, Hell in a Handbag Productions, Pinebox Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Shattered Globe and Steep Theatre.
To encourage cross-pollination among its own productions and those presented by resident and visiting companies, Theater Wit has introduced Chicago's first live theater, Netflix-like membership program. With a Theater Wit Membership, you can see as many plays as you want at Theater Wit, year round, for one low monthly fee of $36 ($22 for students). Using your unique member ID, you can reserve a seat at any production in the facility, either in advance or just drop by on impulse. Attend as many different shows as you want each month. Come once, twice or five times a week at no additional charge. Come back to the same production for free as many times as you wish, based on day of availability. And get this: members of Theater Wit are also welcome to bring a friend twice a season for free. Theater Wit also offers a Flex Pass: 10 admissions for $215 to literally anything presented in the building, a savings of up to 40%. To purchase a Membership Program, Flex Pass, single tickets or for information about all 2012-2013 productions at Theater Wit, call 773.975.8150 or visit TheaterWit.org .
More about Theater Wit
"A thrilling addition to Chicago's roster of theaters" (Chicago Tribune) and "a terrific place to see a show" (New City), the new Theater Wit is entering its third season in its newly reNovemberated home at 1229 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.
Theater Wit inaugurated its brand new, $1.3 million venue in the former home of the Bailiwick Arts Centre in June 2010. The new Theater Wit boasts three intimate 99-seat performance spaces — the only theater in Chicago with such a configuration — plus a new box office, administrative offices, a beer, wine, spirits and coffee bar, and a cool, casual lobby.
Founded in 2004, Theater Wit's mission is to explore contemporary issues with wit and wisdom through new works and Chicago premieres. For complete information, visit TheaterWit.org .