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  The Santaland Diaries Reviews
The Santaland Diaries
Goodman Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The artful and versatile Strafford performs a powerful 70-minute standup act. He describes the process of becoming a Macyís employee and how his unusual and thankless job means greeting lots of people and literally putting on a happy face. Strafford amazes us with his alacrity, authenticity, and spontaneity in breathing life into so many funny lines and realistic anecdotes. To get up there every night and do the perfect monologue (rarely taking a breath or a drink of water) is an extraordinary feat. With his robust expressions and polished antics, he engages the entire audience in his narrative. Wow!"
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Julia W. Rath



Chicago Theater and Arts- Recommended

"...Strafford did an admirable job of delivering the well-known prose to a highly appreciative audience, including one slightly drunk woman who absolutely guffawed at everything he said."
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Cindy Richards



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...The Santaland Diaries is a blunt, very funny look at the strange and sometimes irrational ways in which we behave at this time of year. Though there are indeed moments of pure Christmas spirit here, the bulk of the play consists of Sedarisís very adult, sometimes profane, always uproarious observations about the stress of the holiday season, and letís be honest: donít you sometimes just need that kind of release this time of year?"
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Karen Topham



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Sedaris did get the job. Stafford, under the direction of Steve Scott, delivers 65 minutes of its hilarity. During elf training - yes, there was formal elf training - "We were taken to the Oh My God Corner...People arriving see the long line and say 'Oh my God!' and it's an elf's job to calm them down and explain that it'll take no longer than an hour to see Santa." Other trials included dealing with vomit, tantrums, toddlers peeing into fake snow, parents aggressively art-directing their children on Santa's lap and customers threatening to have Crumpet fired for lapses in spirit."
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Susan Lieberman