What's it about?
A Wilder Christmas is the theme of an evening that features two plays. The first play, The Long Christmas Dinner deals with a family who mourns the death of lost relatives every year at Christmas time. The second play, Pullman Car Hiawatha, deals with a group of people travelling on a train to Chicago and they experience many different surprises.
What'd I experience?
When I got to the theatre I sat down and saw on that the stage was set with a dining room table - so, I knew that The Long Christmas Dinner had to be the first play. The play began with a man named Roderick alongside a woman named Lucia. They were at a dinner table talking about how much they loved Christmas time. I knew I should’ve jumped on stage in that moment because I love Christmas too! The joyful, cheerful spirit - the gifts, gifts, and did I say gifts that Christmas brings. So fulfilling to me.
As Roderick and Lucia were talking they literally just froze. Then they resumed with Roderick’s mother (Mother Bayard) joining them at Christmas dinner. While the three of them were enjoying their meals Roderick and Lucia both froze again and Mother Bayard left the stage. When they resumed they were talking about how much they missed Mother Bayard and wish she were with them this Christmas. So, I figured that each time they froze they would resume with a new year. When they were conversing about all the good times they’ve shared with her, time froze again and a nanny brought out a baby carriage. It was Roderick and Lucia’s baby boy Charles.
They froze again after the nanny left with Charles. At this point I was tired of the freezing in time. Can we last a good 5 minutes without jumping to another year?
They resumed with Roderick and Lucia leaving the stage. Charles was a grown married man now and began to reminiscent about Christmas time with his parents. He had children and named them Roderick, Samuel, and Genevieve. During the next Christmas dinner, Samuel decides that he wants to go to the navy. Everybody froze again and Samuel left the stage. They resumed in tears conversing about how much they missed him and how he should’ve never went.
It was clear that every time somebody left the stage they died. This clearly wasn’t the kind of Christmas that I would want to experience. Having to think about death and memories with lost loved ones sounds more like an anti-Christmas holiday.
The second play Pullman Car Hiawatha was very short. It began with about eleven people riding a train. They were all on their way to Chicago. During their train ride each and every one of them would call the “Porter,” a guy who served as an attendant. They would call him for any and everything.
“Porter, I am not comfortable.”
“Porter I don’t know what this is doing in my bag.”
“Porter are we almost there?”
I was annoyed for him!
Porter was called again by a passenger, Harriet, but this time because of something way more serious. She was having heart problems. She told Porter that she saw a doctor on the train and wanted him to go find him. Before the doctor got the chance to reach Harriet she had already passed away.
She died pretty quick and at peace if you ask me. No signs of struggle or screaming. She wasn’t even fidgeting or anything. I mean I know nobody really wants to die but that’s like an ideal death you don’t have to worry about so much pain just go in peace.
When she died a man dressed in all white appeared and stood behind her - I think it was an angel. She looked at him and said, “I’m not ready.”
I was like “Uhhhhhh, Harriet he is in ALL WHITE you're going to heaven girl, what do you mean you're not ready? You better go get your blessings!" She eventually went with the angel and the curtains closed.
Both of these plays were all about death.
I was wondering where were the Christmas carols and the Christmas spirit.