Since 2003, Theatre Limina has staged their production of The Santaland Diaries—a theatrical presentation based on David Sedaris’s 1992 essay about his gig working as an elf at Macy’s—at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Last year Frank Theatre debuted their own Santaland production as a one-man show at the Hennepin Stages, meaning that Minneapolis was improbably supporting two simultaneous Santalands.
My aunt Betsy attended both, and wrote, “I can see why one or both of these performances could become a Christmas classic for some. Personally, it was a challenge to accept anyone else’s presentation of Sedaris’s story—you can hear Sedaris tell it himself on an audiobook. But both performances are excellent in their own right, so if you’re cool with not hearing the story straight from the horse’s mouth, by all means, go.”
This year there’s a Santaland shuffle: the Frank production has moved to the Woman’s Club, and the Limina version has been cancelled. In a statement, the company writes, “Theatre Limina deeply regrets to announce that, due to unforeseen complications with the licensing of the show, we will be unable to present The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in 2011. We are heartbroken to be missing what would have been our ninth year in a row producing at the BLB, but we want to assure our audiences that we are already planning our comeback in 2012, and it will be rockin’. Please accept our apologies for this late cancellation, and we hope to see you next year.”
Will we again and forever be a two-Santaland town? Should we be? Only Santa and, perhaps, Sedaris, know for sure.
Photo: Joe Leary in Frank Theatre’s The Santaland Diaries, 2010. Photo courtesy Hennepin Theatre Trust.