Don Reviews The 2017 Presentation Of "A Christmas Carol"
Here is another first, as I am going to actually review something for the 3rd time. But when that something is kind of a tradition and it is something worth seeing, why not as we kick off the holiday season?
“A Christmas Carol” is the classic originally written by Charles Dickens and is currently featured in its annual presentation at the Wyly Theatre. This production stars Brad Leland (“Buddy” from “Friday Night Lights”) as the lead of Ebenezer Scrooge along with Chamblee Ferguson as Bob Cratchit, Will Power as Jacob Marley, Alex Organ as Fred, Beth Lipton as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Jahi Kearse as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Josiah Gamino as Tiny Tim with some of the castmembers in multiple roles. The story takes place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1843 London with the greedy Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited on Christmas Eve by three spirits that visit the past, the current and future of his Christmases if he stays on his current path. Over his journey, Scrooge takes a look at his life and tries to make a change for the better.
There are no big backdrop and set changes from past years, but there is a bit of imagination needed in a few sections. The production mostly just uses a few props to change from location to location, but it is done effectively along with the lighting. When it comes to the acting, the cast does well with Leland as Scrooge leading the way; he fits the role physically and characteristically for the role along with great tone and mannerisms. The rest of the cast also does, but I have to give a shout out to Lipton whose playing of the violin really enhances the role.
When it comes to the overall production, I did like it. This version of the annual production is pretty much the straightforward story with no twists or variations in cast or presentation as they have done in the last couple of years. If you are “old school” you will really like this production with its ninety-minute run time with no intermission. So it is great in one sense of having the story you know and going back to basics, but kind of weird that no twists were added like in the past years. Of course this production is good for the entire family, and if it is a family tradition to see it every year, then of course, go see this. I will definitely recommend this production as second level seating.