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  Coney Island Christmas at Geffen Playhouse

Coney Island Christmas

Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles

Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in the world premiere of this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents' exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school's Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays

Thru - Dec 30, 2012

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 310-208-5454

Geffen Playhouse Seating Charts

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  Coney Island Christmas Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The question of whether she’ll be allowed to go on with the show is belabored by Margulies. Paley’s story, “The Loudest Voice,” conjures entire worlds with Yiddish-inflected turns of phrase, and both the playwright and director, Bart DeLorenzo, should have followed this less-is-more approach. There’s also too much speechifying about America, Christmas and the meaning of a play that recognizes the dangers of assimilation but generously sees the glass as half full."
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Charles McNulty

Variety - Recommended

"...As with many gifts, the wrapping isn’t much to speak of, in this case a weak framing narrative taken from a Grace Paley short story. But what’s inside – not one but two kid pageants superbly staged by Bart DeLorenzo, and a pan-denominational message – is a jewel to be cherished."
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Bob Verini

LA Weekly - Recommended

"...Director Bart DeLorenzo gives the piece a lovingly hilarious production, full of holiday memories. Ann Closs-Farley’s witty costumes, including a glorious Thanksgiving turkey, are a triumph, and Takeshi Kata’s sets cleverly evoke 1930s Brooklyn."
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Neal Weaver

Backstage - Recommended

"...Thanks to the limitless imagination of director Bart DeLorenzo, as well as a dynamic cast stuffed full of some of our town’s finest actors, this could be the biggest hit of the jam-packed holiday season. If it can melt the hardened heart and tickle the calloused funnybone of crusty old critics, leaving one ready to get the kid to go to the corner and buy the prize goose for the Cratchits’ Christmas dinner, it could even become an annual event for Geffen Playhouse."
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Travis Michael Holder

Santa Monica Mirror - Recommended

"...And kudos to the playwright and director for bringing us a new holiday classic; it was commissioned in memory of the Geffen’s late artistic director, Gil Cates, and it’s a loving tribute."
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Sarah A. Spitz

LAist - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Bart DeLorenzo stages the show efficiently and gets good work from his ensemble, although the material doesn’t give him much to work with. Playwright Margulies has said in interviews he was commissioned to create a “Jewish Christmas play,” but in trying to satisfy both parts of that mandate he winds up in a middle zone that fulfills neither."
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Terry Morgan

Edge - Recommended

"...DeLorenzo deserves credit for the committed and seamless work that he elicits from the entire ensemble, and the evening’s graceful blend of lighthearted fun and timeless truths. And Margulies has given us a gift that promises to continue enchanting audiences for years to come as a new holiday-season classic."
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Les Spindle

Stage and Cinema - Not Recommended

"...Director Bart DeLorenzo does his best to keep this memory play moving and stages it as if to preemptively head off any boredom. But there’s little he can do when the source material lacks real dramatic conflict. Theatrical flourishes and stagecraft abound. At one point snow even falls, but because it’s not attached to a story of consequence, the effect melts away before any effect has a chance to resonate or stick."
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Thomas Antoinne

LA Splash - Recommended

"...Relief is here and can be found on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright’s over-the-top delightful, well-written play, “Coney Island Christmas,” which is based on “The Loudest Voice,” a short story by Grace Paley."
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Beverly Cohn

Stage Scene LA - Recommended

"...In a holiday season filled with the usual plethora of Christmas Carols, White Christmases, and other seasonal standards, a brand new December tale provides welcome variety to an otherwise business-as-usual month. That Margulies, DeLorenzo, and company make bona fide holiday magic on the Geffen stage is icing on the Christmas cake."
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Steven Stanley - Recommended

"...The play is a huge success and I think Gil would reiterate, “perfect”."
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Robert Machray - Recommended

"...This wonderful story by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies (based on the short story, The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley), can mollify those of the Jewish persuasion and offer a humorous and entertaining production for everyone."
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Carol Kaufman Segal

Examiner - Recommended

"...Treat yourself and buy tickets for the whole family. “Coney Island Christmas” is such a gift of a play. You will want to unwrap it and share with those you love."
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Audrey Linden

LA Stage Times - Recommended

"...Director Bart DeLorenzo’s cast — mostly talented young adults in real life — channel their more juvenile memories into a hilarious panorama of somewhat bored, somewhat curious, generally untalented kids who are bewildered by this thing called acting."
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Don Shirley

Neon Tommy - Recommended

"...While it’s not a masterpiece, “A Coney Island Christmas” is a diverting and fun night at the theater for the whole family."
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Katie Buenneke - Recommended

"...A play commissioned from Donald Margulies might as well come with a money-back guarantee. Coney Island Christmas is a smart investment in Christmas Futures for the Geffen Playhouse. Its world premiere (through December 30) should cheer American theaters hungry for holiday fare that owes nothing to Scrooge."
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Cristofer Gross

Total Theater - Not Recommended

"...Past and present are bathed in a warm, sentimental light and covered with enough shmaltz to choke a rhinoceros."
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Willard Manus

Grigware Blogspot - Recommended

"...Coney Island Christmas is a lovely evening of theatre for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs. Everyone will be moved and first and foremost entertained by Margulies’ little theatrical parable."
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