‘A Wilder Christmas’ Review Highlights

“Blessings on the Peccadillo Theater Company for giving us A Wilder Christmas, a flawlessly staged double bill of rarely seen one-act plays by Thornton Wilder, that are as extraordinary in their own ways as Our Town.”

“Dan Wackerman, the company’s artistic director, has staged these plays with a warm simplicity that conceals supreme artfulness, adding discreetly innovative touches that are as true to the spirit of the text as were David Cromer’s more radical but equally convincing innovations in his great 2009 revival of Our Town.”

“The 16-actor ensemble is right in every way.”

“Despite their comparative obscurity, The Long Christmas Dinner and Pullman Car Hiawatha are miniature masterpieces, at once poetic and profound, and I doubt you’ll ever see either one done better.” — Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

“Superlative!” “The Long Christmas Dinner and Pullman Car Hiawatha are the objects of fine revivals by director Dan Wackerman’s Peccadillo Theater Company. Both plays are beauties and are acted accordingly by Wackerman’s troupe.” — David Finkle, Huffington Post

“The reality that Wilder offers us is filtered through memory and the self-absorption that comes with being—and the music that comes with it, too.” “Profoundly humane!” “Director Dan Wackerman insists that you hear Wilder’s unforced modernism, his unashamed Americanness, his deep sympathy. You can catch, too, Wilder’s profound influence on contemporary drama, from Tony Kushner to Paula Vogel, Will Eno, Dan LeFranc, and more.” — The New Yorker

“Exquisite!” — The New York Times

“The theatrical equivalent of warming your feet by the fire—before a random breeze gives you a shiver. Dan Wackerman directs the plays, which combine formal daring and philosophical wonderment.” — Time Out

“The two plays provide a valuable opportunity to engage with a writer whose influence is too often confined to a single work.” — The Village Voice

“A Wilder Christmas is a beautifully packaged gift!” — Curtain Up “Enjoyably erudite and appealing.” “Under Dan Wackerman’s direction, a fine cast brings Wilder’s vision of sadness and joy to life.” “Elegant and charming.” “Deeply moving!” “Dan Wackerman’s sensitive direction and a very solid cast are alive to each little nuance.” “A Wilder Christmas is the perfect holiday treat for the skeptical, the pessimistic, and the other adults in the room.” — Lighting & Sound America

“Dramatically satisfying.” “Daring and thought-provoking!” “Harry Feiner’s set has a delicate, almost chilling beauty.” “Powerful and highly theatrical!” “Dan Wackerman’s direction is lovely and he has a marvelous company of actors to work with.” “A Wilder Christmas twinkles with Wilder’s wit and compassion.” — EDGE New York

“An early Christmas present, Thornton Wilder’s The Long Christmas Dinner and Pullman Car Hiawatha are both scrumptious feasts!” “Deeply satisfying! Glorious!”

“Director Dan Wackerman transports us magically into another time period!” “Delicate, emotional and powerful!” “James Beaman is commanding.” “Giselle Wolf is delicate and hearty at the same time.” “Brad Fryman is delightfully comic.” “John Pasha is exquisite.” “Anna Marie Sell is effervescent and engaging.” “Gael Schaefer is captivating.” “Barbra Wengerd is emotionally engaging.” “Pullman Car Hiawatha was just delicious. I loved the styling, the staging, the soundtrack, the audience participation and the sensational performances!” “Michael Sean McGuiness controlled the stage with effortless ease and joy. The pleasure he took in his character was infectious!” “LaMar Giles is a warm, generous performer.” “Fabulous!” “I particularly loved Harry Feiner’s lighting design which was stark and provocative. Marianne Custer captured the period perfectly with her gorgeous costume designs.” “Thornton Wilder’s masterful writing will always ensure a great night at the theater, but when this is also matched by powerful performances and dedicated creative and production teams, you find yourself fully sated.” — NY Theatre Guide

“A great gift to give any friend, family member, young person new to theatre, older person ready to give up any hope of ever again experiencing the past joy of seeing great theatre, or most of all, to yourself, is the wonderfully satisfying, creative and lovingly rendered Peccadillo Theater Company’s A Wilder Christmas.” “A glorious evening of storytelling!” “One of the year’s most enjoyable, satisfying and theatrical events. Directing kudos to Dan Wackerman, Peccadillo’s Artistic Director, for excellent work with this uniformly excellent ensemble cast, and for orchestrating this fine production!” — Intermission Talk

“A first-rate production, with a uniformly spot-on cast!” “Miraculous!” — New York Theater

“Both plays are packed solid with Wilder philosophy, each sharply examining life, death and the relativity of time.” “Especially poignant were Brad Fryman as Cousin Brandon, John Pasha as Charles and Gael Schaefer as Cousin Ermengarde.” “Director Dan Wackerman is unerringly true to Wilder’s vision.” ” Barbra Wengerd is strong and beautifully nuanced!” “Stunning and inspiring! — Theater Pizzazz

“A beautiful production!” “Fascinating!” “I regard Peccadillo’s decision to grace their stage with these plays as an act of literary heroism!” “Profound and breathtaking!” “Stunning!” “Both plays are gorgeous and philosophically mesmerizing.” — Theatre Is Easy

“The fragility and fleetingness of life is examined by the Peccadillo Theater Company in its excellent presentation of A Wilder Christmas.” “Powerful!” “Far more than a simple holiday treat, A Wilder Christmas shows the importance of appreciating both your life and the lives of those around you before they and you become little more than a mention in a long-neglected book that’s been tossed in a corner gathering dust—if even that.” — Epoch Times

“A rare opportunity to see two beautifully staged early Thornton Wilder plays!” “The large cast is uniformly excellent!” — TheaterScene.net

“Powerful!” — Stage Buddy “One big, marvelous theatrical Christmas package!” “These plays seep into your heart and soul.” “Loaded with charm!” “Director Dan Wackerman has done a marvelous job!” “Wonderful!” “These two one-acters are surprising Christmas gifts for everybody. Thornton Wilder knew his Americans.” — History News Network

“Under Dan Wackerman’s superb direction, Peccadillo Theater Company’s A Wilder Christmas is a gem!” “Mr. Wackerman’s unobtrusive style compliments the material; with unsentimental precision and a light touch he illuminates all the subtle little details of Wilder’s works until they hum and vibrate, and we find ourselves lifted into a place buzzing with sublime energy.” “Cosmic, awesome and powerful, but at the same time small, personal and infinitely precious.” “The cast is excellent!” — Stage and Cinema “Ingeniously unexpected!” “Peccadillo’s polished cast is excellent!” “Together, the two one-acts make for an interesting and rewarding holiday-season evening of theater!” — Blogcritics

“Emotionally moving and entertaining!” “Unique and striking!” “Harry Feiner’s lighting is stunning!” — Theatre’s Leiter Side

“Celebrate this special time of year with a duo of Pulitzer Prize-winning Thornton Wilder’s plays, brought to you by the renowned Peccadillo Theater Company!” — New York City Theatre