The Long Christmas Ride Home | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Long Christmas Ride Home The Short List (Theater) Recommended Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 12 2015

The title conjures images of John-Boy Walton sitting atop a hay wagon, driving a jingle-belled Clydesdale through a gentle snow while the rest of the clan lie back on a bed of straw, smiling up at the stars. And sure enough, Paula Vogel's 2003 play revolves around a holiday visit to grandma's house. Yet this trip is anything but idyllic. Here, the wagon is a 1950s-vintage Rambler, and the family it carries is headed for a defining trauma, with philandering Dad at the wheel, embittered Mom beside him, and three deeply uneasy kids in the backseat. Chamber-theater-style storytelling and bunraku-inspired puppets contribute to the comic, tragic, honest beauty of this unorthodox yuletide tale, sensitively rendered in Josh Sobel's staging for Strawdog Theatre. Don't see it with the kids unless you're prepared for a serious discussion on the ride home. —Tony Adler

Price: $28

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