New Jersey Stage

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities and East Lynne Theater Company present "Ghosts of Christmas Past" Trolley Rides

"In two days it will be Christmas!" said Old Applejoy to himself. "Can it be that my close-fisted grandson John does not intend to celebrate Christmas! It has been years since he has done so, but now that his niece, Bertha, is in the house, will he dare to pass over it as though it were a common day? I've seen no preparations, heard nothing, smelt nothing. I will go this moment and investigate."

And Old Applejoy, a ghost living in the attic of the old mansion, descended to the lower part of the house in Frank R. Stockton's delightful Christmas ghost tale, "Old Applejoy's Ghost."

This tale is one of two stories that are part of the repertoire of 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 based on Mary Wilkins Freeman's "The Twelfth Guest," about a stranger who suddenly appears in time for Christmas dinner. Both have been adapted for storytelling by Gayle Stahlhuth.

Listen to these classic American ghostly tales, 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 $10 for adults and $7 for children, ages 3-12, and run several nights a week through January 1.

Once again, the main costumed storyteller is Frank Smith, who was the first person to portray Dr. Physick for MAC's tour of the Physick Estate, and has performed for ELTC in William Gillette's "Sherlock Holmes" and for "Tales of the Victorians," ELTC's popular storytelling event on the porches of B&Bs during the summer and fall.

Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling MAC at 884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the tour, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Meanwhile, on the mainstage of ELTC is "Christmas Presents from the Past" based on stories by Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and O. Henry, adapted and performed by Gayle Stahlhuth on November 25, 26, December 4, 9, and 10 at 8:30pm. The location is The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May. Tickets are $25 for general admission; $15 for students; and ages 12 and under are always free. For information or reservations: 884-5898 or on the web at