POST: 'Holiday House: Christmas Bends' - I felt like I walked into a winter wonderland.

What's it about?

A child recounting her memories from Christmas. 

What'd I experience?

A coworker of mine (and a super freakin’ adorable one at that), Anne, mentioned that she was going to be working on a Christmas show, so I thought why not? Christmas theme and supporting a coworker? Yes, please.

On the train ride there, I stumbled upon the Holiday Train. It’s this old school, Christmas themed train with people dressed like they stepped out of the 20's. I took a detour since I was early to the show and snapped a couple of pictures. It was like I went back in time... but it was time to get back to the present.

I almost missed it on my walk there because it was tucked away. I walk up the stairs, and a VERY handsome usher opens the door and welcomes me in. As I try not to make an ass of myself, like I always do, I see Anne. We immediately get excited to see each other and hug. It felt like that reunion you have with a good friend after all those years apart. She was wearing the cutest Christmas sweater. I swear this girl is way too cute for life. We get the usher to take a photo of us, and I begin to walk into the room.

That’s Me and Anne!!!

That’s Me and Anne!!!

It was a FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS PARTY. I felt like I walked into a winter wonderland. I couldn’t BE happier. It was like Christmas wrapped into one room. Christmas lights, egg nog and cookies, and a Santa. I couldn’t tell if it was because I was so excited to see Anne but I became the most social person, which is pretty out of character for me. I go straight up to Santa, get a selfie, and have this whole conversation with him about what he wants for Christmas and if people sat on his lap. FYI: He wants people to stop bar hopping and dressing up as him for Santa Con. Haha.

I grab some egg nog and a cookie as the usher begins to tell us the theater was open. I walked into this attic and see this little Christmas card with my name on it. Reserved seating. Don’t I feel fancy? But this was the point I started to get confused. I go from this warm Christmas feel to wtf am I watching here? It got dark real fast. It opens with this girl waking up from what seems to be a fall through the ceiling. As the show goes on, she gives us snippets into her experiences, embodying each person she knows from her mother to her grandmother to her brother.

Her mother seemed like a crazy perfectionist. She kept trying to make this perfect Christmas and it was eating at her, but that wasn’t what was unsettling. The constant yelling at her children and the psychological trauma she caused was pretty hard to hear. The little girl tells the details of how if she’s bad, the pretty snatchers will come to rip off her face. Then, there was the talk about strangers and how basically if you talk to a stranger you’ll get raped in some way, shape, or form. I’m not really sure what kinda f’ed up parenting this is, but I start to realize that this show will be anything but good vibes.

She interacts with the audience a bit, asking some of them questions, then yelling at them. So, of course, during the entire show, every time she came near me, my heart would race like please don’t. Please. I’m good. You know? We’re all good. Don’t come here, please.

Throughout the show, she continues to tear off this wallpaper, which slowly reveals a family drawing made by a child. There was this innocence in the drawing. A reminder of the old days before the difficulties of complications and adulthood. It reminded me so much of this wall I used to have in my room. Everyone drew on it and there was some things from waaaayyy back in my childhood. I had everyone trace their hand on it, and it stayed there for so many years. Seeing that drawing made me nostalgic. I miss that wall and, for me, that’s what it symbolized in the show. A sign of better times. Then, there was this scene where she knocks one of the walls down. Like literally knocks it down. I’ve never seen that before. It falls and reveals the insides of the walls, this cotton looking stuffing, and I’m sitting there like did that really just happen?

It ends with her telling a story about how her mom got her a rose once. She was going to cut it but realizes that there’s a caterpillar on it. So instead, she decides to slowly cut off each of the caterpillar's legs and eventually kills it. The entire time, the only thought that was crossing my mind... YOU SADISTIC BASTARD. She closes the show by saying that’s the terrible thing she’s done and asks us what our terrible thing was. I begin to get lost in thought, trying to figure out what mine is, and the show ends. I walk back out into the Christmas themed room, and I’m not really sure where to go from here or what I even saw, but this was one hell of a day.

Want to see it?

$9 tickets (thru Off Off @ 9)

Mason Holdings
@ NYTW's Fourth Street Theatre
thru Dec. 23

What'd you experience?

Let PXP know in the comments below...