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‘Santaland Diaries’ returns to the Horizon stage
by LaTria Garnigan
November 19, 2013 10:18 AM | 2457 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Greg Mooney/From left, Enoch King, Harold M. Leaver and LaLa Cochran.
Special / Greg Mooney/From left, Enoch King, Harold M. Leaver and LaLa Cochran.
As a toast to the holidays, the Horizon Theatre will present its 15th anniversary run of “The Santaland Diaries.”

Written by the award-winning satirist David Sedaris, the play is a satirical tale of a Macy’s department store elf, Crumpet.

Played by Doraville native Harold M. Leaver for the 15th year, Crumpet gives the audience a backstage pass to the secret lives of Santa and his elves.

“What I try to keep in mind is this is just a normal, sensitive fellow, who enjoys participating in life and observing people and talking about it,” said Leaver of his character. “He’s not bitter, he’s trying desperately to not be bitter … but his circumstances, how his experiences as a ‘retail elf’ force him to look at everything that has gone wrong with the holidays … these make it quite difficult to not be bitter.”

Leaver has been involved in the theater scene in Atlanta since 1986, having co-founded the Actor’s Express and performed many roles on Atlanta stages. He has also earned theater degrees from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., and the University of Georgia.

In playing the title elf character, Leaver said what he enjoys most is the immediacy of the nightly journey with the audience.

“Since my first live performance ‘N is for Nose’ in kindergarten, I’ve loved being in front of an audience and making them laugh,” he said. “It’s a form of communion, sharing, that helps keep me spiritually fit.”

Leaver added he is looking forward to seeing all of those who have made the show a part of their holiday tradition, as well as converting new “Crumpeteers.”

While the play deals with the Christmas theme of Santa and elves, Leaver said “this is not your mama’s Christmas play.” According to a news release, the recommended audiences for the production are adults.

There will be no runs of the play Nov. 26 and 28 or Dec. 3 and 25. There are additional performances Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 8 p.m.

If you go:
When: Friday through Dec. 31
Where: Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. in Atlanta
Cost: $25 to $40
Information: (404) 584-7450 or visit

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