Some holiday traditions are far more enjoyable than others.
The onset of the season of requisite good cheer carries plenty of headaches, from heated culture wars over red Starbucks cups to the omnipresent carols that seem to become incurable earworms long before the Thanksgiving turkey is out of the oven.
Such stresses are just as much a part of the holidays as gift wrap and eggnog. They’re also the grist behind one of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s most durable winter traditions.
Seven years ago, BETC launched its yearly production of “The Santaland Diaries,” a one-man, one-act show by Joe Mantello based on an essay by David Sedaris. The show tracks Sedaris’ adventures as a Christmas elf at a Macy’s department store after moving to New York in the 1980s, and it’s rife with a brand of dark humor rooted in holiday overload.
“There’s this irritation with the inescapability of Christmas, the commodification of it,” said actor Michael Bouchard, who is taking on the role of Crumpet the Elf for the first time in this year’s staging of “Santaland.”
“There’s the inescapability of David Sedaris’ voice. His own cynicism is the uniting force for anyone playing this role. It’s weird to say that the heart of the show is cynicism, (but) I think the uniting theme is something that everyone can relate to.”