Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Get holiday spirit on track with ‘Christmas Express’

all for One productions offers its annual addition to the Christmas season

"The Christmas Express" opens at PPG ArtsLab on Nov. 11.

Lauren Nichols

Artistic Director, all for One productions

Published November 9, 2022

Oh by gosh, by golly! It’s time to visit the little town of Holly. The residents of this Midwestern backwater are bluer than blue on Christmas Eve, until an unscheduled train arrives and deposits a jolly stranger on their doorstep. 

Leo Tannenbaum may not be forthcoming about his own life, but he certainly seems to make things happen. Can he do anything about the black clouds hanging over the dying train depot and its gloomy proprietor, Hilda Trowbridge? 

Pat Cook’s nostalgic comedy, The Christmas Express, plays like a newly-discovered film by Frank Capra, complete with a cast of eccentric characters, a bit of mystery, and a huge helping of holiday cheer. 

all for One productions offers its annual addition to the Christmas season on Nov. 11-20 in the PPG ArtsLab theater. Journey back to a small town in the 1950s for a generous slice of humor and good feelings the whole family will enjoy. 

The many veteran actors who are lending their talents to this play include Jennifer Netting as Hilda, Steven Manning as Satch, her one remaining employee, and Dennis Nichols as Leo. Steve Bricker, Nate Chen, Stacey Kuster, Dotty Miller, Whitnie Twigg, and Christa and Kalleah Wilfong all add to the merriment. Period costume design is by Mary Swerens and newcomer James Oakry is designing the lighting. 

One of afO’s traditions is to serve complimentary cookies during intermission. As an extra treat, the Grace Notes, a ladies’ a capella group, will carol for our audience in the lobby before the show. 

With a brisk running time of about 95 minutes (including intermission), this is an ideal way to jump-start the jollity this year. 

Why not invite some friends or neighbors to join you for The Christmas Express before it steams away? We look forward to seeing you! 

The laughs and the sense of community good will this show provides should be enough to last you clear through to New Year’s Day. 

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