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Home For Christmas
a Holiday Show
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Lloyd C. Douglas, adapted by Anne Coulter Martens

COMPANY : ACT1 [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ACT1 Theater [WEBSITE]
ID# 4525

SHOWING : November 29, 2013 - December 22, 2013

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Join us as we celebrate the "Spirit of Christmas" in this classic tale of a family coming together for the holidays. Originally published in 1935, this delightful short story describes how the Clayton family, having been scattered to every part of the country, return for a yuletide reunion. Some of them have been successful while some have difficult problems; their mother isn’t well and this may be her last Christmas. One of the daughters, determined that the family recapture something they seem to have lost, insists on turning back the clock, much to the amusement of everyone present. In the midst of the laughter and witty dialog, they discover something you will surely want to discover with them.


CAST & CREW LIST
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REVIEWS

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Ho-Hum for Christmas
by playgoer
Sunday, December 22, 2013
3.0
Lloyd C. Douglas’ "Home for Christmas" was adapted for stage by the prolific Anne Coulter Martens in 1954 and is now being presented by ACT1 Theater. This wholesome play takes place in a Depression era farmhouse where the three grown children of a supposedly ill woman have come to celebrate the holidays. The unmarried son has made good, allowing the two daughters to experience college and the good things in life. Gertrude is trapped in a privileged marriage, but is persuaded to return home for the holidays by Nan, who is the only child who knows that their mother is ill and may not be around for another Christmas. That’s the main situation of the play, and it falls completely flat. Kerrie Hansen Doty, Karen Walsh, and Mike Yow don’t convince us that they’re siblings, and Barbara McFann as the mother adds nothing to the family chemistry.

The siblings and mother aren’t bad actors by any means, but they don’t share any physical resemblance and appear awkward when together onstage. Having director Lisa Matchen also in the cast may have prevented her attention to this element of the show. Kerrie Hansen Doty provides narration with verve and believability, but the family scenes just don’t jell.

What pleasures the production provides come from the subplots: a romance between the son and his widowed childhood girlfriend (played winsomely by director Lisa Matchen); another romance between Gertrude’s daughter Miriam (played with vivacity by Shari Bohnsack) and a local boy (smartly played by Calvin Wickham); and a Christmas recitation recital headed by dreaded yet loved teacher Packy (the joyous Jeanne Miyakawa) that is attended by a number of townspeople. The townspeople include four children, all adorable, and their mother, played by the graciously charming Catherine Thomas. Others shining in small roles are stage manager Paul Komorner, who adds sparkle to his short recitation, and Jim Gray and Candy Spahr, who play a bickering handyman and cook in the household.

The set is simple but workable, and onstage decoration of a Christmas tree works smoothly. Lighting, sound, and costumes are all fine. But nothing disguises the fact that this is a lackluster production of a lackluster script. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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