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The Santaland Diaries set for Theatre Wit
Nov 11, 2013

The Santaland DiariesWhat 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 donning his candy stripe tights once more for Theater Wit's tenth 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 22-December 29, 2013 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 helper struggles to maintain his dignity while being confronted by competitive elves, scary Santas, thousands of selfish shoppers and their obnoxious kiddies during the Macy's Christmas rush.

The Santaland Diaries first aired on December 23, 1992, making David Sedaris an overnight sensation after he first read his autobiographical essay on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris has since become one of America's preeminent humor writers. He is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Cordoruy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and his most recent book Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate 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. He is the author of a collection of the NYT-bestselling collection of fables Squirrel Seeks Chip.m.unk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). 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.

Mitchell J. Fain (Elf) was most recently seen in Best Musical for Porchlight Music Theater at UP Comedy Club and also in Second City Theatrical's The Good, the Bad, and the I-5 at the La Jolla Playhouse. He was previously seen on The Norwegian Star as a part of a Second City touring company performing improve/sketch comedy. Other credits include This at Theater Wit, Lookingglass 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 is 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 raised in Rhode Island and then moved to Chicago in 1992 to grow up.

Jeremy Wechsler (director) is the artistic director of Theater Wit where he has directed Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), 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.

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