The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Santa shows his dark side

A far cry from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas’ presentation of “The SantaLand Diaries” is a new kind of Christmas classic.

“The SantaLand Diaries” chronicles author David Sedaris’ experience working as Crumpet the Elf at the SantaLand display in Macy’s Manhattan.

The show stars Dallas native and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas (CTD) regular, Nye Cooper. A seasoned performer in the Dallas area, this is his sixth time as the grown man in candy cane stockings.

The one-man show recounts unbelievable interactions with holiday shoppers during the Christmas season.

Cooper executes the show perfectly with just the right amount of audience interaction and dramatic pauses to account for the audience’s hysterical laughter.

Sedaris moved to New York to land a role on his favorite soap opera, “One Life to Live,” but quickly discovered that big breaks do not come around as often as he imagined.

So as a 36-year-old out of work actor, he applies for a job as an elf, and thus Crumpet is born.

Crumpet’s tales of life in Santaland will definitely have you believing that “Santa” really is just an anagram for “Satan.”

 The show feels like a one-on-one conversation with a hilarious best friend.

Every member of the audience laughs with Crumpet as he talks about “The Walrus,” the obese elf who pathetically believes he is the Brad Pitt of Santaland.

He forces you to think twice about ever letting your child sit on Santa’s lap after describing all of the different Santas he works with.

There is Santa Howard who makes all of the kids describe in detail the type of cookies they will be leaving out for him and Santa Doug who spits when he talks. There is even a delusional Santa who never steps out of character, not under any circumstances.

More so than the other workers in Santaland, the parents in search of the perfect photo of their child on Santa’s lap are the real characters.

Crumpet tells stories of New Jersey families with perverted fathers, crying kids and of the Candy Cane Forest becoming a wasteland of dirty diapers on Christmas Eve.

The only disappointing part of Crumpet’s show is the ending. It simply ends too soon, and the audience is left with a stitch in their side and no closure.

“The SantaLand Diaries” is directed by Coy Covington, a third time director of the piece with a special connection to the story.

Covington spent time as a Singing Sugar Plum at Macy’s and backs up Sedaris’ story saying, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

The show is not for the easily offended. Crumpet has a less than jolly elfin spirit, and the play is rated “R” for good reason.

“The SantaLand Diaries” runs until Dec. 23 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas.

To make this play a part of your holidays visit


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