Holiday Drama Cometh

As the temperature cools and we jump in the last leaf pile, there is no denying it: the holidays are upon us. Even with my treasured family, the hectic pace of shopping, cooking, in-law scheduling, and guest-room cleaning makes the last few weeks of the year feel packed with high drama.

Just when I’m ready to trade in stockings for a lump of coal, I read these plays and remember that it could be much, much worse. In fact, it’s smooth sailing compared to these holiday shenanigans.

Richard Greenberg’s The Assembled Parties brings together two families celebrating an ambivalent Christmas/Chanukah mashup, only to have the evening go awry, and to haunt them for decades to come.

In The Long Christmas Ride Home, Paula Vogel combines classical American theatre influences like Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with Asian theatre styles and puppetry. Its strangeness and hypnotic beauty contrast make it easy to appreciate my own family’s familiar comforts.

Times Square Angel by Charles Busch mines comedy from the seedy life of nightclub headliner getting a little help from a saucy angel/magician. It’s a far cry from It's A Wonderful Life.

This list has more unconventional plays to help you make it through the drama of the season. Happy holidays!