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LAist Recommends: The Long Christmas Ride Home

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Be glad not to see this play during holiday season "because the disappointments of our families last all year long... This ain't no X-mas story," as the slogan goes. The Los Angeles premiere of The Long Christmas Ride Home by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) is an intense and visually beautiful production that combines Thornton Wilder story telling, with bunraku puppet theater and noh dance.

Puppetry, when done well, can be one of the most creative and intriguing art forms. A puppet can speak as a human does, but it can also have drum set logorrhea. They can be shadows or as real as the audience member next to you. Christmas Ride accomplishes all that and more (not to mention the hilarious lesbian puppet scene).

Actors and puppets perform the play in a one act with the mother and father always as actors and the children as puppets in the past and actors in the present. The story focuses on a long car trip to visit the grandparents for Christmas. As all long cramped-in-the-small-car trips can do, emotions pour as the family undoes itself.

This play a must see. It's been so popular, the run of show has extended throughout May. We recommend you hit the NoHo Arts District and hitch a ride at The Tribe Theatre.

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The Long Christmas Ride Home shows at 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $20.