“You counted up yesterday how many there’d be, and you said twelve, so I set the table for twelve,” said Pauline.
“Well, I don’t see how I made such a blunder,” her mother replied. “There are only eleven of us, after all.”
“It’s a sign somebody’s comin’,” said Pauline.
Thus, begins the eerie tale of “The Twelfth Guest” by Mary Wilkins Freeman, in which a strange young woman appears suddenly for Christmas dinner, and stays awhile.
This story is one of two that are performed on the “Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides,” co-sponsored by The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company. The other ghostly story is “The Snow Image,” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who is known for his supernatural tales. Did Violet and Sam create a real child out of snow, or was it just their childish imaginations at work? The stories were adapted for storytelling by ELTC’s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth.
Listen to these classic American ghost tales, memorized, not read, told in a dark trolley, while the twinkling lights of the beautifully decorated homes and streets are seen through the windows of the heated vehicle.
The “spirited” thirty-minute rides begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tickets are only $15 for adults and $8 for children, ages 3-12, and run several nights a week from November 23 through December 31.
Like last year, the beautifully costumed storyteller is Susan Tischler who has performed in several ELTC plays including “Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Speckled Band” and “Helpful Hints,” that she adapted from Mae Savell Croy’s “Putnam’s Household Handbook.”
She was selected to perform another of her one-person shows, “Tao of Tisch,” at The Women’s Theatre Comedy Showcase in Parsippany, NJ last spring. For several years, shes co-produced “Barrys Christmas Opry,” in which she portrays Minnie Pearl. Proceeds from the “Opry” go to the West Cape May Christmas Parade.
Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling MAC at 609-884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the tour, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.
Up next on ELTC’s mainstage is “The Great Tree and Other Tales by Zona Gale,” adapted and performed by Gayle Stahlhuth. Performances are on December 8, 12, and 13 at 8:00 p.m., and on Saturday, December 14, shows are at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The location is The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes Street. Tickets are $28; $20 for students and military (active or retired); and free for ages 12 and under. For information or reservations: call 609-884-5898, e-mail email@example.com, or visit eastlynnetheater.org. Season tickets for 2020 are available and make an excellent Christmas present: 4 shows for only $90 if purchased before March 31.