Santaland Diaries







The Santaland Diaries
Horizon Theatre
through December 31, 2017

The turkey is unfriended and the lights start to shine on the trees and it’s that time when the malls are full of Christmas Carols, the retailers are hustling you to run up your credit card bills, and most of us just wish that things would change for the better for everybody all around the world. Especially, considering current political situations.

Years ago playwright David Sedaris actually did work as an elf at Macy’s. His humor is great; albeit is loaded with single entendres and occasionally loaded with expletives. So, this is not for the little people, nor the prudes among us.

Directed by Jeff Adler, they have an outstanding cast. Harold Leaver who played Crumpet for 18 years has now retired from elfdom but he is replaced by incredible local performer and playwright, Topher Payne. He is another perfect Crumpet who accepts the original Sedaris plan as a monologue. Topher does the job with aplomb and some updated ad-libs and works the house by interacting with some of the audience.

Enoch King returns as Crumpet’s sidekick and maybe a half a dozen other cameo roles, much to the delight of the audience.. And, Lala Cochran is the female sidekick as well as agent provocateur, in many guises. And two interns get to share center stage with them in several schticks.

Each of these players “owns” their roles, and has played them on a yearly basis. But, WTF? Hasn’t Chris Kayser come on as Scrooge for umpteen years? It’s a standard; akin to going to see the lights at the Botanical Garden or the Nutcracker Ballet. Who says older folks can’t have fun?

It’s 90 minutes of fun and laughter and that’s something we all could use more of these days. And coming up December 2d through 31st they will present Madeline’s Christmas in collaboration with Atlanta Children’s Theatre Company. For tickets, times and full info for both shows just go to horizontheatre.com


Love Never Dies






Love Never Dies
Fox Theatre
through December 3, 2017

Let me start by skipping to the bottom line. This is one you MUST see! Just imagine that the Cirque du Soleil and the Metropolitan Opera joined hands to present an English language opera with full background of incredible sets, props, costumes and performers and that it was penned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had previously brought you Phantom of the Opera.

I am not going to get into the story line other than to say that the Phantom (Gardar Thor Cortes) has showed up 10 years after his assumed demise. He is still enamored of Christine (Meghan Picerno); but there’s a problem inasmuch as she has married and has a child, Gustave (Jake Miller) and as the plot thickens you find that they are not the only ones involved in lusting for the affection of another.

The score resounds with Phantom-like music, and there are some bars which appear to be derived directly from Phantom. The songs, however are more operatic than show tunes. The only one you may really pick up on if played on a radio may be Bathing Beauty when the ladies are all at the beach and Mary Michael Patterson sings the number backed up by a chorus of other ladies as they show off some wild costume changes.

There is a full orchestra in the pit, and one unique aspect is that what sounds as an overture starts off Act II, not Act I. When this opened in London a few years ago, it ran for less than a year and received mixed reviews. It was closed and re-tweaked and now is one of the most incredible evenings you could hope for.

It closes this Sunday, so hop to it, or you’ll be sorry to miss this one.