While on hiatus from smoking crystal meth, creating absurd performance art, and speaking bad French in Paris, a young David Sedaris did a brief stint as a department store elf at a Macy's in New York City. He wrote an essay about it, "The SantaLand Diaries," which he read on NPR in 1992, marking the writer's first big break. The rant, which follows our humiliated protagonist from the job interview to his adoption of his new elfin persona, "Crumpet," to the first toddler-vomiting episode and beyond, was adapted into a one-man, one-act play by Tony Award-winning Broadway vet Joe Mantello. Zoetic Stage artistic director Stuart Meltzer's version of the not-suitable-for-children holiday show will open 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theater (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The part of Sedaris is acted by South Florida's Carbonell Award-winning Michael McKeever, marking the second time the artist has had the joy (and anxiety) of performing the role. In an hour and 15 minutes, the audience will grasp the desperation of the unemployed, the sickening insanity of Christmas shopping, and just how weird holiday "cheer" can get.
Thu., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 21, 2 p.m.; Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 23, 2011