Christmas on Mars
Set in a bright, starkly bare apartment, the action centers on a young couple, Bruno and Audrey, who are planning to marry now that Audrey is pregnant. In order to pay the rent Bruno has invited Audrey’s mother, Ingrid (whom Audrey detests), to move in with them, but he is not prepared for the unexpected arrival of his lifelong friend Nissim who, upon learning of the expected birth, announces that he will also stay on. He, like the others, looks to the baby for redemption from the disappointments and emptiness of his own life and the hope, at last, of pure and ennobling love. It is in the barbed and very funny exchanges of these four unlikely roommates that the more serious concerns of the play are shadowed, culminating, after Audrey has departed for the hospital, in a bizarre but genuinely moving scene in which the wonder and promise of the Nativity are strikingly invoked.
Christmas on Mars was first produced in New York City in 1983 by Playwrights Horizons (Andre Bishop, artistic director; Paul Daniels, managing director). Directed by Andre Ernotte. Sets by Andrew Jackness. Costumes by Rita Ryack. Lighting by James F. Ingalls. Production Stage Manager: J. Thomas Vivian. The cast was:
Bruno: Michael O’Keefe
Audrey: Harriet Harris
Nissim: Joe Pichette
Ingrid: Marie Cheatham
The play has had many productions around the world since then, including a major revival at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in 2006.
Dramatists Play Service, 1983.
Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise: The Selected Plays of Harry Kondoleon, Theater Communications Group, 1991.
click here. (Google excerpt)
Andrew Jackness’s set for the Playwrights Horizons production
Colette Kilroy, Sarah Grace Wilson, Jack Ferver and David Furr in the San Diego production. (Photo by Craig Schwartz)
If you’ve ever seen or worked on this show and would like to share your experience, please comment below.