Thursday, December 02, 2010

"The Long Christmas Ride Home" at the Salem Theatre Company

 The defining moment in the play.

 Interesting use of "live" puppets to represent the children in the play.
 The use of video really helped to tell the story.
Last night I was privileged to see the pre-opening performance of "The Long Christmas Ride Home", a play at the Salem Theatre Company.

Quite honestly I was not expecting what I saw, although I cannot say exactly what I expected, in spite of reading the press release that you can see below.

However, I can tell you that I enjoyed the show and it really was a thought-provoking and emotion-filled evening.  If you are looking for a sugar-coated all-is-right-with-the-world kind of show, this is not the one for you.  But if you want to see a well-acted play that helps you consider that in our family troubles we also find our very deep love for each other, this is the one for you.

We feel so very fortunate to have a wonderful live theatre of this caliber in our little city of Salem.  It is run by folks who are very earnest about doing the very best they can do.  The theatre is so tiny that every seat is a front row seat (and very comfortable chairs they are, as well.)  It is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Hawthorne Hotel.

I do hope you will go see it for yourself.  If you do, be sure to tell them that Juli at the Hawthorne sent you their way.  I know they will be happy to hear that.



Paula Vogel’s holiday masterpiece opens December 2

SALEM, MA – In a new holiday treat, the Salem Theatre Company opens Paula Vogel’s imaginative comedy, The Long Christmas Ride Home, for a three week run on December 2.

Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home explores a family Christmas journey gone comically and tragically wrong, collapsing time and space with a dizzying concoction of theatricality – music, masks, puppets, projections and ghosts on stage. The result is a funny, raucous, eerie and poignant antidote to all those who suffer from "good cheer anxiety" around the Holidays. The New York Times called it "an exalted communal ritual of redemption...enough to make die-hard agnostics believe in the mystical powers of drama."

The Long Christmas Ride Home is directed by STC Artistic Director John Fogle with design by Ryan Robbins and Jean Fogle. The cast includes Julie Becker of Roxbury, Brian Casey of Salem, Cliff Blake and Nancy Gahagan of Lexington, Stephen Cooper and Susan Fader of Marblehead, Linda Goetz of Newton, and Jake Strautmann of Belmont.

Performances run December 2-19, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m., at the STC Theater, 90 Lafayette Street in downtown Salem. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $12 for students; they are available now at or at the box office the day of the performance. Tickets can also be reserved for pick up at the Box Office by calling 978-790-8546 or by e-mailing The box office opens thirty minutes prior to show time; cash and checks only at the box office.

The Long Christmas Ride Home features strong language and adult situations and is suitable for audiences 18 and older.

Special Events for The Long Christmas Ride Home

Opening Night performance and reception to benefit Lifebridge
Thursday, December 2, 7:30pm
Tickets: $35

“Pay What You Will” Performance
Sunday, December 5, 3:00pm
See the show and you name the price.

Post-show talk-back and Q&A session with the cast and director
Thursday, December 9, 7:30 p.m.
Included in ticket price.

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