The Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel will light up with the spirit of Christmas during the first two weekends in December when it presents Mark Shilstone-Laurent’s A Very Cherry Christmas. The first act consists of a performance of David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries featuring Mark Shilstone-Laurent in a hilarious one-man show chronicling the life of an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Act Two showcases a series of Christmas readings performed by local favorites MaryAnn Schaupp-Rousseau, John Newkirk and Julie Hughett.
The show plays December 1,2,3 & 8,9,10, with a 7:30 curtain Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday the 3rd is a 2pm matinee, Sunday the 10th starts at 7pm. Tickets are $20. For reservations call (831) 676-0148, or visit brownpapertickets.com. Proceeds will benefit the Sparrow Collaborative, an advocacy group for the homeless.
Of Sedaris, critics say, “With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.” Turn that talent loose on a story about a hired elf undergoing countless humiliations dealing with psychotic shoppers, stranger-than-fiction Santas and over-sexed co-workers, and you end up with a pretty dang Merry Christmas. Shilstone-Laurent plays the elf, Crumpet, and his son Tyler directs.
The second act of A Very Cherry Christmas features some of the area’s finest actors performing a number of classic (and not so classic) Christmas themed readings. Pieces from the works of Truman Capote and O’Henry provide the comfy sentimentality Christmas traditions call for, but a reading about a doomed Christmas pageant from Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle goes straight for the funny bone. Poems of the season round out the evening.
Top (l to r): Mark Shilstone-Laurent and Julie Hughett
Bottom: MaryAnn Schaupp-Rousseau and John Newkirk.