I was first introduced to A Christmas Carol in 6th grade. I wish I could say I enjoyed reading the book, but the exact opposite was true. I was more concerned with the response to my “Will You Go Out With Me?” note than with Ebeneezer Scrooge’s epiphany.
Fast forward 15 years to A Christmas Carol at Zach Theatre. I left the show wishing it had been my first introduction to Dickens. The musical adaptation, playing until December 28, 2014, was captivating and full of energy.
This holiday season, I urge everyone in Austin to personally experience A Christmas Carol – A Rockin’ New Musical. The music, cast and adaptation of the story are the reasons you and everyone you know should see the show.
I am not the biggest fan of musical theater. The musicals I do find myself enjoying weave story telling and music together seamlessly, causing me to forget I’m watching a musical!
A Christmas Carol does exactly that by telling the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge through a mix of Christmas carols and songs you might hear on the radio. The carols themselves are performed with soulful – and at times funky – melodies. The surprising contemporary music causes audience members to consider this classic English tale in a new way, from “I’ve Got a Feeling” performed during a dinner party to “Halo” delivered in a heartfelt scene about Tiny Tim.
The music is sure to please everyone in the family, with songs that span generations and genres.
The actors in A Christmas Carol bring diversity, talent and humor to the performance.
- Ebeneezer Scrooge, played by Harvey Guion through December 23rd, is the same as the character is described by Dickens. But Mr. Guion delivers a sincere sense of epiphany throughout the performance. Towards the end, Guion’s Scrooge really does seem like a person overwhelmed with a new sense of meaning.
- Paul Sanchez plays Bob Crachit and brings his talent for guitar playing and cheery demeanor to the stage.
- Kenny Williams is a quick witted and humorous Ghost of Christmas Past.
- The Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge’s housekeeper Mrs. Dilbert are played by Amma Osei (Jacqui Cross was on stage for these roles from 11/26-12/2). In both roles, Osei is joyful, sassy and not afraid to tell Mr. Scrooge like it is!
- Dear Fred is played by Michael Valentine, whose optimism and soulful voice make him an easy favorite throughout.
Overall, the cast members play their roles professionally, but don’t take themselves too seriously which fosters an enjoyable atmosphere.
The story of A Christmas Carol is timeless. In this adaptation, the Director Dave Steakley remains true to the story while adding a few modern twists. “I like the aesthetic of anachronistic elements colliding in a story, so the juxtaposition of contemporary music and a period setting and costumes appeals to me very much,” Mr. Steakley said.
The added elements make the story accessible to a present day audience. From the casting of multicultural characters to the modern representation of a dinner party, viewers are presented with a familiar story about discovering the true meaning of the holidays that hits closer to home.
Home for the Holidays
The holiday season is here and for most it comes with busy days, stress and to-do lists. I recommend that in the middle of the holiday bustle, you take a time out to see A Christmas Carol at Zach Theatre. For an evening, let the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge remind you of what the holidays are all about: relationships, compassion and making the most of the time we have together with loved ones.
The music will have you singing along to familiar carols and radio hits. The cast and story will bring you cheer and laughter. So bring a friend, your family or both and experience the joy of the holidays at the Zach Theatre.
A Christmas Carol is playing at Zach Theatre (1510 Toomey Rd) through December 28, 2014. You can purchase tickets on Zach Theatre’s website.
@edwinxavierocho wants to know:
Who is your favorite Christmas Carol character?