An elf of himself, Tom Chalmers returns to 'Santaland Diaries'

Tom Chalmers has performed "The Santaland Diaries" to sold-out crowds for several years.

Tom Chalmers has been called up from the Elfin Hall of Fame to return to star in "The Santaland Diaries," at 35below at Asheville Community Theatre.

Chalmers performed the show to sold-out crowds for seven years, from 2005-2011. The 16th year in a row for the show, "The Santaland Diaries" will open Wednesday, Dec. 13 and run through Sunday, Dec. 17, with performances Wednesday-Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and additional late-night performances Friday and Saturday nights at 9:30 p.m. Tickets, $15, are available at, 828-254-1320 and at the Asheville Community Theatre box office.  

The Santaland Diaries is a dark comedy that follows an out-of-work slacker who takes a job as an elf in Macy’s Santaland. His observations of the shoppers and employees are much more naughty than nice. 

“The Santaland Diaries and Asheville go so well together,” said Chalmers. “So when ACT asked if I would step in, I had to say yes. I haven't done the show for a handful of years, and we won't be able to do all the bits we did when the show was upstairs and in full effect. But the story always holds up, and I will bring everything I can to the iconic comedic role that is Crumpet.”

Though Chalmers performed this role for seven years, this will be his first time performing it in 35below, a space he knows well. He hosts monthly performances of "Listen to This: Stories and More on Stage" for years, and he teaches improv and acting classes in the space. 

The Santaland Diaries is directed by Josh Batenhorst, who directed Chalmers in the show from 2005-2011. Batenhorst and Chalmers have continued to collaborate over the years, most notably as co-founders and performers with local improv troupe Reasonably Priced Babies.

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