Ryan Beil. Photo credit: David Cooper

It’s New York City, 1991, heading into a busy holiday season at Macy’s department store. Enter one soap opera-starstruck elf, who for the next hour and change will entertain the red and white-striped stockings out of the audience. Ryan Beil stars in Santaland Diaries, a one-man campy monologue written by David Sedaris. Known for his wicked sense of humour, Sedaris’ essay about his trials and tribulations as an elf first emerged on NPR’s Morning Edition. The piece was a success, leading the author to publish it in both Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice.

Ryan Beil. Photo credit: Tim Matheson

In Santaland Diaries, all manner of working conditions are discussed, from elf training right through to the elves that each play a role in a hectic department store Santaland.

It’s a treat to watch Beil’s comic brilliance. And listening to his stories as he dons an elf suit makes it all the more hysterical. This daily account leading up to Christmas Eve will leave you laughing out of your seat. Set and Lighting Designer Ted Roberts does a fabulous job through simple white revolving boxes and other props to bring the play to life without a single Christmas tree ever making it on stage.

Beil has also starred in The Importance of Being Earnest, Billy Bishop Goes to War, and Main Street Theatre’s Endgame. He’s been awarded a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Improv Troupe for The Sunday Service, of which he is a founding member.

Ryan Beil. Photo credit: Tim Matheson

This elf’s seen it all and is ready to share it with you. Don’t miss out on Santaland Diaries, playing through December 29 (held over for another week!) at Granville Island’s Revue Stage.

Special added holiday performances:
Monday, December 24: 2 pm and 5 pm
Wednesday, December 26: 2 pm and 8 pm
Thursday, December 27: 8 pm
Friday, December 28: 8 pm
Saturday, December 29: 2 pm and 8 pm

Santaland Diaries is an Arts Club Theatre production directed by John Murphy. Except where noted, photos courtesy of Tim Matheson.

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