Even in these lean times, when jobs are hard to come by, David Sedaris' humorous monologue (adapted by Joe Mantello) about the absurdities of his seasonal employment as a department store Christmas elf still has intrinsic charm. Nicholas Brendon does the honors in a fine performance, bringing to life the simple, self-deprecating strain of humor for which Sedaris is known, as well as artfully channeling a raft of quirky characters. The script takes the audience through all the qualifying steps to be certified into elfhood, which include a 10-page test, a urine screen and two interviews. After his central character makes the grade, Brendon slides into one of his many personas and gives a hilarious, inspirational speech, which would shame Knute Rockne, to the fortunate group of new hires. Never far from the surface, however, lurks a burning sense of indignation and a tinge of sadness that life for a 33-year-old man with higher aspirations has come down to donning a goofy elf outfit complete with cute, crescent-shaped shoes, screaming-red jacket blouse and candy canestriped long underwear all the while pandering to bratty kids, overbearing adults and even some irate co-workers. The show plods toward the end but not before Brendon and director Michael Matthews have scored some well-earned laughs. Blank Theatre Company at the Stella Adler Theater, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8. p.m., Sun., 2 p.m.; through Dec. 19. (323) 661-9827.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 27. Continues through Dec. 19, 2010