David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries” is a well-constructed piece of holiday humor. Any actor telling the popular tale of Sedaris’ time as a Macy’s elf doesn’t have to work that hard; Sedaris’ language does all the toting and lifting. The story flows, whether told in its stripped-down form with Sedaris at a podium (how I first saw it at the old Lower Links in the early nineties) or in a full theatrical treatment from Theater Wit at the Theatre Building. Joe Mantello’s adaptation and Jeremy Wechsler’s direction successfully transform the story from page to stage; Joey Wade’s set creates a low-budget yet lovely temporary North Pole. Mitchell Fain’s high-energy performance as Crumpet the Elf is on the money; his comic timing is impeccable. But his winking and nudging can be exhausting; he needs to trust the strength of the material and relax and enjoy himself the way the audience enjoys him. (Lisa Buscani)
At the Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 West Belmont, (773)327-5252. This production is now closed.