The Elf Himself

Santaland Diaries reveals all

The still-single, thirtysomething ne'er-do-well of the family -- the one who counts on Christmas for a full year's worth of family strife and dysfunction, the one who will always opt for irony and sarcasm over good tidings and yuletide cheer -- finally got a Christmas Carol of his own when struggling writer David Sedaris read his essay "Santaland Diaries," about time served as an elf at Macy's in Manhattan, on NPR ten years ago. Now that newfound tradition is reincarnated onstage here in St. Louis as the ECHO Theatre Company mounts a one-man theatrical adaptation of Sedaris' sardonic masterpiece, starring the local thespian at left, Eric Little (an eleventh-hour fill-in for Terry Meddows, who had to withdraw for personal reasons).

Santaland Diaries plays Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. (December 9 through 19) at the Soulard Theatre (1921 South Ninth Street). Tickets are $15 ($12 for students and seniors) and are available through MetroTix at 314-534-1111 or by visiting For more information check out or call 314-995-2123. -- Rose Martelli

Just Housing Around
With Lafayette Square's blessing

SUN 12/12

Admit it, you're nosy -- especially when it comes to people's homes. You've been known to borrow eggs from everyone in the neighborhood just to compare dinettes and table linens. This weekend, indulge in the ultimate snoop-fest: the annual Lafayette Square Holiday Mansion Tour. From noon to 7 p.m., you can sneak as long a peek as you want at ten gorgeous homes, all dressed up for the holidays. Plus, there'll be carolers and carriage rides in the neighborhood to get you in the holiday spirit. Tickets for the self-guided tour cost $12 and are available in advance by calling 314-772-5724 or visiting Lafayette Square businesses (purchase $15 day-of-tour tickets at the Park House at 2023 Lafayette Avenue). For more information visit -- Amy Helms

He's Making a Grocery List
And checking it twice

SAT 12/11

On Christmas Eve ol' Saint Nick gobbles up a couple billion plates of cookies. But the guy's really old. He's probably on a pretty strict low- cal, low-fat diet during the off-season -- stuff you just ain't gonna find at the North Pole. It kind of makes you wonder where Santa Claus buys his sundries the other 364 days of the year. Where else would the world's most loved man shop but the "friendliest stores in town"? This weekend, Santa's sleigh makes a stop at the Schnucks City Plaza store (3431 Union Boulevard; 314-381-8789) from noon to 3 p.m. The first 300 kids at the celebration get a free photo with Santa, a coloring book with crayons and a candy cane. There'll also be face-painting and a balloon artist for extra cheer. And no matter whether you've been naughty or nice, everybody gets into Schnucksmas for free. -- R.L. Nave

Kick Back

Performing graceful high kicks isn't very easy. Just try to do ten alternating kicks above your waist while jumping, balancing and landing with your feet together. Did you hurt yourself? Watch some ladies who can kick without injury when The Radio City Christmas Spectacular brings the Rockettes to the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard) from Friday, December 10, through December 31. Tickets cost $23.50 to $62.50 and can be purchased by calling 314-534-1111; visit for the varying performance times. -- Alison Sieloff

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