What it's about.
A reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale about a grinchy old man whose world changes after the visitation of three spirits.
I'm a sucker for everything Christmas. What can I say: "it's the most wonderful time of the year!" What better way to get into the holiday spirit then watching an old classic? I just wrapped up my first semester of college and seeing this show was very nostalgic.
My first encounter with the Dickens’ classic was when I was around seven years old and watched the Mickey Mouse version of A Christmas Carol.
From then, I’ve seen countless adaptations. Perhaps most recently however, was the one on SNL (I‘m an SNL junkie and Kate McKinnon is my queen).
Going into the show, I was fairly certain that I knew what was lying ahead. Well, I was wrong. As I took my seat inside the theater, which was very small and cozy, I read the program. The program read: “Tradition. Reimagined.” Further investigation into the program, I noticed that in the cast of characters, there was no Ebenezer Scrooge, or Tiny Tim, or ghost listed. Rather, the characters are the actors themselves. Interesting…
The set featured an array of papers, which seemed to be taken from a storybook, all hung on a wire.
Show starts, and it's boom! Lights out. The only source of illumination is provided by the flashlights the actors shine on themselves and on objects. The actors are rummaging through the set, looking through the pages, and giggling. One by one, they shine the flashlight on their face, to introduce the story of A Christmas Carol, and set the scene. This part was very reminiscent of a campfire scary story.
NOW WE TRULY BEGIN!
The cast of eight actors take on multiple roles in A Christmas Carol. For instance, as one of the actors is reading the description of Scrooge, another actor embodies the characteristics. He hunches his back, scrunches up his face as if he just ate a sour patch kid, and puts on a burgundy robe. Oh, and most importantly… he speaks in a British accent.
I’ll be honest: at first, I wasn’t very confident in how this was going to work, or if I was going to be able to believe it. I mean, after all scrooge is an old man, right? The guy playing Scrooge must’ve been like in his thirties. He didn’t look like someone who would typically Scrooge.
A Christmas Carol is a story, and it was being portrayed as such. The actors were the storytellers. This concept, I guess can be applicable to really any play, or movie for that matter. After all, there’s a story being told in virtually everything, right? That concept was further emphasized in this show. Really cool.
Scrooge, the old man who for some unknown reason, despises Christmas. He has no Christmas spirit, and kills the spirit of everyone he encounters. For example, he’s at his job (I think he’s an accountant, or something along those lines), when two carolers walk in. And before they can start singing, he shuts them down. JERK.
Later that day, Scrooge goes back to his vacant home, which by the way has a very creepy vibe to it. Very Edgar Allan Poe. It's dark. It's cold. And suddenly, he gets visited by the spirit of his old co-worker, Marley. Marley’s all chained up, and he warns his living colleague about what’s to come. He tells him that he’s gong to be visited by three ghosts, and Scrooge is like: “yea, whatever.”
Scrooge gets visited by three ghosts. One takes him back to his past. One takes him to the present. And one shows him the future. Through all three trips, Scrooge realizes the errors of his ways and changes for the better.
Perhaps the biggest factor in this however, was the third ghost: The Ghost of Christmas Future. The cape that is worn by The Ghost of Christmas Future always terrified me. Not to mention, the ghost never speaks, and their face is covered which makes it creepy X 100000.
The spirit basically alludes to Scrooge that if he does not change, he will die and be doomed.
After waking up, from what was an eternal sleep, Scrooge goes out on the town. He smiles for the first time in a very long time. and everyone is startled by his sudden change in demeanor. He wishes everyone a merry Christmas, and shakes the hand of every person he encounters. Oh and as for the carolers, he gives them a couple pounds. After the tale is complete, the actors revert back to themselves and narrate the ending of A Christmas Carol.
Watching this show made me feel like a little kid again. And on that note, Happy Holidays everyone! Don't be a Scrooge.
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