On Our Shelves Now
Christopher Durang, the criminally funny author of "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You," returns to the scene of his prime with two raucous new plays about death, religion, and a creamy Christmas pudding. In "Miss Witherspoon"named one of the Ten Best Plays of 2005 by both "Time" and "Newsday"Veronica, a recent suicide whose cantankerous attitude has not improved in the afterlife, discovers that the one thing worse than the world she left behind is having to go back for seconds. Ordered to cleanse her brown tweedy aura, Veronica resists being reincarnated (as a trailer-trash teen or an overexcited Golden Retriever), only to find that she may be mankind's last, best hope for survival. In "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge," a sassy ghost once again attempts to shake Scrooge from his holiday humbug, but the whole family-friendly affair is deliciously derailed by Mrs. Cratchit's drunken insistence on stepping out of her miserable, treacly role. Morals are subverted, starving yet plucky children sing carols, and somebody's goose is cooked as Durang lovingly skewers "A Christmas Carol," "It's a Wonderful Life," and many more to create a brand-new, cracked Christmas classic.