October 23, 2014
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Watts draws big laughs in OSTC’s ’Santaland Diaries’
Don Fowler
CRUMPET THE ELF

David Sedaris’ one-man, one-act Christmas show about a guy who plays an elf at Macy’s and lives to tell about it gets a good interpretation from former Theatre-by-the-Sea favorite Lennie Watts at Ocean State Theatre Company’s new Warwick home.

“Santaland Diaries” is the “naughty” to OSTC’s the Winter Wonderettes “nice” production, with Crumpet the Elf spilling the beans about the Santas, kids and parents he has to deal with in his Christmas employment.

Performing in front of the Wonderettes set, with which the hour and 70-minute monologue is alternating through Dec. 30, Watts shows his comedic talents and timing, drawing huge laughter from the audience. This is a show for adults, with just enough profanity and politically incorrect humor to balance the funny experiences that the writer faced.

I had seen the show twice before at Gamm with Steve Kidd giving a slightly different interpretation to Crumpet and a bit more in the scenery department. Without comparing the two, I enjoyed the two productions.

Watts has done much stand-up comedy in addition to acting, so you will see that element in his role, at times reflective and at times in your face. The production is brief, but it never slows down, as Crumpet tells us how he interviewed for the job, went through the elf training course, and carried out his various duties.

The comedy comes out of his reactions to fellow employees, including some odd habits of the elves and Santas he works with. He has a chance to take a few pot shots at the kids and parents along the way.

It’s a fun evening, albeit a short one, which makes for a good break during this hectic season. It will make you chuckle the next time you go into Macy’s and see one of Santa’s elves.

Tickets are $25- to $47, and there’s not a bad seat in the house. Call 921-6800 for reservations.


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