If you're a football fan, you might bellow out "Who's No. 1?" But if you're a holiday theatregoer, you may be heard to say "Who's (or What's) No. 2?"
Although adaptations of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" has been the leading stage attraction for 50 years, the second most popular choice for professional, collegiate and community theatres in recent years is "The Santaland Diaries."
Based upon humorist David Sedaris' autobiographical essay for National Public Radio, "The Santaland Diaries" tells the tale of an unemployed actor who takes a job as a Macy's elf hired during one hectic Christmas season.
The one-man show's popularity is due in part to the droll script as Sedaris, as Crumpet the elf, sarcastically comments on howling kids, pushing parents, competing co-workers and soused Santas.
I first saw "The Santaland Diaries" several years ago when BTE's Tom Byrn, decked out in candy cane tights and oversized elf hat, played the more naughty than nice Crumpet. It was his hilarious portrayal that prompted me to convince Millbrook Playhouse's Artistic Director Stephen Sunderlin to stage the show in the Cabaret as part of its "Christmas in July" attractions. (Bryn is currently back in Bloomsburg and featured in "A Christmas Carol.")
Millbrook turned to "The Santaland Diaries" again in 2008, this time as a holiday fundraiser at Lock Haven's Elks club with popular Marc de La Coccha playing Crumpet.
BTE is encouraging one and all to "... indulge in your inner Scrooge" in its version running Dec. 13 to 16 at the Moose Exchange, 203 W. Market St., Bloomsburg.
Richard Cannaday, who played Crumpet last year for BTE, reprises his role in this year's attraction directed by Elizabeth Dowd.
"The Santaland Diaries" is recommended for mature audiences with adult language.
Tickets and information for both shows are at 800-282-0283.