A Christmas Carol is a classic tale that everybody has heard at least once. No two productions of this story are the same. Some more traditional, others more comedic; but no matter how you present the tone, they all have the same story. So, going into this production, I entered with only moderate expectations, expecting the same story I have heard every December.
As I entered the theater and took my seat, I was greeted with the cast of the show singing Christmas carols while some of the children were selling water bottles. I took the time to study the set. The walls were covered in books, most likely to draw reference to the play coming from an old story.
The plot of the play was the same as every other Christmas Carol; not much was changed from the original. But as the play proceeded, I found that the actors were amazing and completely devoted to their roles. I never caught one actor falling out of character or losing interest, even for a second. The best example of this would be the actor playing Scrooge. His emotions, reactions, and body movements felt realistic and genuine. He truly appeared to be a bitter, old man.
I was also happily amazed by the versatility of the set and its special effects. A few of my favorite effects were the ghost of Scrooge’s old business partner emerging from the bed, and Scrooge’s grave flipping down from a panel in one of the walls. The costumes were especially captivating; each one had its own special design to help stand out from the others. The costumes of the ghosts of Christmas past and present were sparkling and given lights to give off that spectral illusion.
The use of a puppet as the Ghost of Christmas Future took me by surprise. It was fascinating to see this larger than life specter towering over Scrooge as it showed him the darkest outcomes of the future. It really added an air of dread and menace to the final ghostly visit of the show. I did have an issue with the puppeteers, since I could see them controlling the puppet. It took away from the illusion for me; maybe a veil or something could have covered them.
In all, however, the performance of A Christmas Carol was simply spectacular. It was light hearted but was not afraid to be dark when it needed to be. Most of all, it stayed true to Charles Dicken’s vision to show what the Christmas spirit is about.