'The Santaland Diaries'

Although he's published eight books and been a regular on "This American Life," Grammy-nominated humorist David Sedaris is still most celebrated for his "SantaLand Diaries" essay. The sardonic tale of elf employment at Macy's Santaland kick-started his career when he first read it on NPR's "Morning Edition" in 1992, and it's since become a holiday theater favorite. Adaptations by two local theater companies are opening this week. Frank Theatre's production stays true to the 1996 one-man, one-act play by Joe Mantello (whose credits include "Wicked"). It stars Joe Leary, a Theatre Latté Da and History Theatre regular, as Sedaris' Crumpet the Elf.  Theatre Limina's version is an original adaptation that centers around three elves and adds live music by the Misfit Toys.

  • Jahna Peloquin

'A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol'

Also at Hennepin Stages this season is the reprise of Phil Olson's Minnesota spoof of Dickens' tale. The show has sold out its past three December engagements in Minneapolis. Olson wrote the book and lyrics and his brother, Paul, composed the music. The cast includes Bonni Allen, Doug Anderson and Ross Young. More event details.

  • Graydon Royce

'The Match Girl's Gift'

Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale is being directed by Kristin Henning in a production at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat. Actor Scarlett Thompson appears as Lizzie in the script, which was written by Laurie Brooks. More event details.

  • Graydon Royce

Choreographer's Evening

If you want to check out emerging choreographers taking on a big stage or seasoned vets taking on a big risk, this is the ticket to buy. The 2010 edition of Choreographer's Evening is curated by the divine Susana di Palma of Zorongo Flamenco and features 13 acts offering everything from tango to West African dance, modern dance, ballet, performance art and everything in between. Last year's show sparked a spirited online debate about the definition of dance. Don't sweat the labels, just enjoy the chance to experience a variety of creative perspectives. (7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Sat. $20. Walker Art Center)

  • Caroline Palmer