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December 21, 2006

Elf's tale

The lowdown -- So you think being a Christmas elf is all candy canes and sugar plums? Humorist David Sedaris begs to differ in The Santaland Diaries, based on his experiences as one of Santa's elves at Macy's. Originally read by the author on National Public Radio's Morning Edition in 1992, the Diaries launched Sedaris' career. He subsequently turned his irreverent harangue into a one-man show, and that version is in previews at Columbia's Rep Stage, where it opens Saturday. Bruce Nelson stars as disgruntled Crumpet the Elf, under Joe Brady's direction.

If you go -- Showtimes at Rep Stage, at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays (except Jan. 3), Thursdays and Jan. 7; and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; with matinees at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Jan. 7, through Jan. 7. Tickets are $16-$24, Call 410-772-4900 or go to


Washington Chorus

The lowdown -- The Washington Chorus, superbly led by Robert Shafer since 1971 (this is his last season), has long been one of the capital's most valued musical assets. The ensemble's "Music for Christmas," which has two more performances, promises a hearty dose of seasonal cheer, with 200 voices, organ, brass and percussion.

If you go -- 7:30 tonight at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Remaining tickets are $29 to $46. Call 301-581-5100 or go to Also, 1 p.m. Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest. $19 to $56. Call 800-444-1324 or go to


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