Entertainment » Books

Suburban Holidays

by Christopher Verleger
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Dec 7, 2018
Suburban Holidays

Aldous Huxley said, "No holiday is ever anything but a disappointment."

While most of us would agree with that statement, at least to some extent and however secretly, holidays (and not just those from December through January) are necessary milestones throughout the calendar year, fraught with nostalgia, regalia and tradition.

In "Suburban Holidays: A Collection of Holiday Plays," a highly entertaining and skillfully poignant compilation of seven short plays, playwright Patrick Cleary and editor Peter Cosmas Sofronas pay profound tribute to, and also poke fun at, the noteworthy yet arguably nonsensical behavior that surfaces seemingly only on momentous occasions like Valentine's Day, Halloween, New Year's Eve, and, especially, Christmas.

Beginning on a somewhat serious note with the especially thoughtful titular entry, "Suburban Holidays" introduces a young woman, Mary, who has brought her boyfriend, Jim, home from college to celebrate the yuletide season. Mary's parents appear to be having marital problems, but her future with Jim has her preoccupied until her Nana, stricken with Alzheimer's disease, manages to put her mind at ease.

In the amusing, lighthearted "Stuck," Joe is a young father determined to prove to his children that he's an Instagram icon, much to the chagrin of his wife, Chrissy, who can't help but laugh when her husband gets stuck in the chimney... until, that is, she catches her father-in-law, Frank, in a compromising position with her mother, Mary. All the while, Joe hangs in the balance, which leaves Virginia, Chrissy's grandmother, worried that Santa won't be able to make his annual visit.

Non-believers are strongly encouraged to reconsider in the cagey "Better Watch Out," when a young mother, Danielle, is caught completely off guard at the home of her best friend, Virginia; "ReGifting" is a heartwarming tale with a supernatural touch about the highs and lows of a married couple; and a feisty teenage girl gives new meaning and purpose to Valentine's Day in "Pineapple Girl," an enlightening profile of women's achievements.

Much like the holidays themselves, "Suburban Holidays" pointedly raises a variety of emotions, ranging from trepidation to elation. The humanity and familiarity of these stories remind us why such occasions are considered special and worthy of celebration.

"Suburban Holidays: A Collection of Holiday Plays"
by Patrick Cleary (edited by Peter Cosmas Sofronas)
Independently published

Chris is a voracious reader and unapologetic theater geek from Narragansett, Rhode Island.


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