THE SANTALAND DIARIES Returns to the Stella Adler Theatre, Now thru 12/16


The Blank Theatre's annual holiday production of "The Santaland Diaries" by David Sedaris, now in its fourth year, will again star Paolo Andino and be directed by Michael Matthews. "Santaland" begins preview performances tonight, November 16, and opening night is set for Saturday, November 24 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood.

"The Santaland Diaries" is an outrageously funny solo play by NPR's well-loved humorist David Sedaris, about his experiences as an unemployed writer who takes a job as a Christmas elf at Macy's in New York City. At first, the job is simply humiliating, but once thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa's workshop, David (or, as his alter ego is known, Crumpet the Elf) becomes battle weary and bitter, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the parents and children alike.

For those who like a little spice with their Christmas sugar, this tale of mass marketing, stressed out sales clerks, drunk Santas, screaming kids and the general insanity of the holidays is hilarious, witty, sardonic and unpredictable; mercilessly cutting through the Christmas spirit to point out what crazy things we do as human beings during the holidays.

The set design for "The Santaland Diaries" is by Sean Vasquez, lighting design is by Tim Swiss, costume design is by Michael Mullen, and sound design is by Warren Davis. The stage manager is Sarah A. Bauer, and the show is being produced for The Blank Theatre by Daniel Henning, Matthew Graber, and Noah Wyle.

Preview performances begin tonight, November 16 at 8pm, and continue on Saturday, November 17 at 8pm, Sunday, November 18 at 2pm, Tuesday, November 20 at 8pm, and Friday, November 23 at 8pm. Opening night is set for Saturday, November 24 at 8:00. There will be no performance on Sunday, November 25. The regular running schedule is Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through December 16 only.

All tickets are $30, and may be purchased by visiting or by calling (323) 661-9827. The Stella Adler Theatre is located at 6773 Hollywood Boulevard, on the corner of Hollywood and Highland.

Paolo Andino is best known for his two seasons on LOGO's "Big Gay Sketch Show." Film credits include "Fatties," "Pink & Green," "Choking Man." TV: "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Ed," "Army Wives." Stage: "Pieces," "Anna in the Tropics," "The 39 Steps," "The Food Chain," and "Waiting for Godot."

Michael Matthews recently directed the intimate theatre premiere of "The Color Purple, The Musical" which is nominated for 13 Ovation Awards, including Best Director of a Musical. Also from this past season, his production of "What's Wrong With Angry?" is Ovation Award-nominated, including Best Director of a Play. Matthews is the winner of two 2011 NAACP image Awards for his direction of "The Women of Brewster Place" and "Take Me Out," both at Celebration Theatre.He directed The Blank's productions of "The Jazz Age" and "The Temperamentals." Others include "Haram! Iran!," "Three Tall Women," "Stupid Kids," "Beautiful Thing," and, most recently, the critically acclaimed and Ovation Recommended world premiere production of "Justin Love" at Celebration Theatre. Matthews also served as assistant director on "Dead End" at the Ahmanson Theatre and "The Cherry Orchard" at the Mark Taper Forum.

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