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Warehouse Theatre offers up hilarious holiday fare from David Sedaris

Ryan Bradburn as Crumpet the Elf in Santaland Diaries.
Ryan Bradburn as Crumpet the Elf in Santaland Diaries.Warehouse Theatre

Santaland Diaries / Season's Greetings at Warehouse Theatre

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It’s the season for warmth and cheer and family and hugs and happy good times.

And for a snarky elf.

The Warehouse Theatre brings a different slant to Christmas with an evening of one acts inspired by the writings of David Sedaris.

Seasons Greetings comes in the form of a Christmas letter – you know, one of those family updates you get, usually in lieu of a Christmas card. This one is from the Dunbar family and is shared with us by Mrs. Dunbar (Kerrie Seymour). She bakes cookies and prepares holiday packages while she tells us about the Dunbar family’s rather unusual year. First there was the unexpected arrival of a, well, previously unknown family member. Then there was the less-than-joyous arrival of a bundle of joy. Let’s just say that things get very complicated – and funny – after that.

Seymour is wonderfully sincere as Mrs. Dunbar, her homey Midwestern accent perfect for unfolding the hilarious and sometimes disturbing developments. Director Anne Kelly Tromsness keeps Seymour gliding through her home, cheerfully preparing for Christmas while her words spin a wicked tale.

The second half of the show features Ryan Bradburn performing The Santaland Diaries, the piece that launched David Sedaris’ career. Recounting his experiences as a Macy’s Department Store elf, Sedaris first made a splash by reading the story on NPR. It’s since become a holiday staple, both as the anchor of Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice collection and in the form of this one-man show.

Bradburn jumps into the part with relish, giving us a portrait of a man who thought he’d waltz into New York City and straight into a job writing for soap operas, but instead becomes employed as Crumpet the Elf. Director Matt Reece lets Bradburn loose on the stage, giving Bradburn plenty of space to let his natural comic talent shine through the snark. Bradburn also indulges in some fun improv-style interactions with the audience on top of the classic Sedaris prose.

Together, this is a winning – and adults-only - evening of hilarity. There’s a time and place for Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, that’s for sure. But sometimes you need the exact opposite. And the Warehouse has got that for you right here.

Don’t miss it.

The shows run through December 29 at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville's historic West End. Call 864.235.6948 or visit the Warehouse Theatre online for tickets and showtimes.

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