'SantaLand' Podcast: Michael Bouchard is the new elf in town

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Episode 175 of our Running Lines Audio Podcast:

There’s a new elf in town. Yes, there will be a fresh, caustic candy-striper playing Crumpet in the Denver Center’s annual presentation of The SantaLand Diaries, David Sedaris’ comic monologue recounting his real-life experience working as a Macy’s Department store elf. His name is Michael Bouchard, a Denver Post Ovation Award-winning actor best-known to Colorado audiences from his time at the Arvada Center, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and as a newly appointed company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which is presenting The SantaLand Diaries at the Jones Theatrein collaboration with the DCPA’s Off-Center.

Why is he perfect for the role of David Sedaris? Bouchard isn’t bragging when he says with a twinkle, “I’m a cynical bastard through and through.” He says the people who most annoy him are “classical liberal intellectuals,” whom he defines as “those who love humanity … but they hate people.” He only associates with them, he says, “when I look in the mirror.”

Bouchard may be cynical about the commercialization of Christmas, but he thinks audiences should consider attending both The SantaLand Diaries‘ and the far less cynical A Christmas Carol, because it will be fellow actor Philip Pleasants‘ last time playing Scrooge. “And he might be the greatest scrooge I have ever heard of, much less seen,” he said. 

A Christmas Carol is good for the human spirit,” he added. The joy of SantaLand, he added, is that it pokes fun at the industry of Christmas. “You can shed some of that cynicism off while getting a really hard laugh.”

The running time of the podcast is 6 minutes.

Podcast Outtake:

Bouchard is proud to have recently been named a full company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. The company, known colloquially as “Betsy ” after its BETC acronym, was co-founded by Bouchard’s SantaLand Director, Steven Weitz, who also just directed Tribes for the DCPA Theatre Company. 

“There are a lot of great theatre local companies out there doing a lot of different theatre,” Bouchard said. “But BETC is a theatre that is doing just really good work. They are doing the best shows they can find with the best people they can get their hands on, and there’s not necessarily a gimmick to it. For me, that’s the sweet spot.”

Matt Zambrano, left, with Michael Bouchard. Photo by John Moore.

There was a recent informal passing of the hat when Matt Zambrano, who played Crumpet in the 2013 and ’14 DCPA stagings of “The SantaLand Diaries,” symbolically turned the role over to Michael Bouchard. Zambrano recently appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company’s “As You Like It.” Last year, Bouchard appeared in “A Christmas Carol.”  Photo by John Moore. 

The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 at the Jones Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performances: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20
  • TTY: 303-893-9582
  • Groups of 15 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at DenverCenter.Org

  • Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for ‘The SantaLand Diaries.’

    More SantaLand coverage:
    Beginnings and endings A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries’

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