November 18, 2012

Bob Keyes: The bad-boy elf returns

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Dustin Tucker as the cynical elf Crumpet in the Portland Stage production of “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris.

Photos by Todd Brian Backus, courtesy of Portland Stage Company

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Dustin Tucker is in his fifth year as Crumpet, a role that has continued to evolve under the team of Tucker and director Dan Burson.



WHEN: Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25. Opens 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 and runs Tuesdays to Sundays through Dec. 16. Regular show times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday; additional matinee at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

WHERE: Studio Theater at Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave., Portland

TICKETS: $17 and $20

INFO: 774-0465;


"We've got it down to about a week of rehearsals. We don't need a whole lot of rev-up time," Burson said. "The rehearsal process is really about holding on to the things we really like. If there are things we didn't like, we will look for ways we can change those and make them better.

"It's always easy to re-imagine things. What's harder to do is to figure out how to do it in a way that fits with things that already work."

Burson enjoys collaborating with Tucker because he is an agile actor. Tucker excels at comedy, but is also highly regarded as a serious actor. He's open to taking direction and is fearless, Burson said.

"He is completely open to trying pretty much anything once, which is something I always love to see in an actor," he said. "That's really great for a director. You know that every possible stone will be overturned, and he will do it in a really professional way."

With its intimate seating, the studio theater is well-suited for this show, Burson said. Because the audience is so close, it's possible for Tucker to make direct connections with individuals. He looks them in the eye, gets right up on them. It's a personal performance.

"A show like this has conspiracy between the audience and the performer," Burson said.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

Twitter: pphbkeyes

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