DENVER (CBS4) – There are plenty of shows playing in Denver during the holidays this year that will bring joy to audiences, but “The Santaland Diaries” at the Denver Center does so with a darkly humorous twist.

“I love it because it’s such a different kind of show than people expect,” said Matt Zambrano, who plays Crumpet the Elf in the one-man show.

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The Santaland Diaries  (credit: CBS)

Matt Zambrano as Crumpet the Elf (credit: CBS)

The plot follows a mostly true story from humorist and author David Sedaris’ past. It’s based on his time as a Christmas elf at Macy’s.

“It really delves into the darker side of what retail becomes,” Zambrano said.

Director Steve Weitz said he is a “bit of a Grinch himself” and that is what, in part, drew him to the project.

“It’s a really great alternative piece that gets to the other side of Christmas,” Weitz said.

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The show includes a section where inside Santaland there is horrible misbehavior by children, parents doing terrible things to each other and inappropriate Santas.

But there is also a happy ending.

“It also has some wonderful heart about him finding his own version of the true spirit of Christmas,” Weitz said.

“The Santaland Diaries” runs Nov. 28 through Dec. 24 at the The Jones Theatre. It is not recommended for children.

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LINK: denvercenter.org