A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens' yuletide classic "A Christmas Carol," now playing at Dallas Theater Center ends with the cast spiritedly singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." It's a befitting ending for this marvelous production because it leaves you feeling comfortably warm and well, full of joy.
In case you've been living on the North Pole, "A Christmas Carol" is the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly, miserable grouch living in Victorian London on Christmas Eve. He is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and given the opportunity of re-examining his life, allowing him to seek forgiveness and redemption. ?
This epic production of Dickens' Yuletide classic boasts a 15-piece moving set, a revolving stage, 140 quick costume changes punctuated by eerie, ghostly sound and lighting effects resulting in a viscerally frightening, dramatic and blissful theatrical experience. The behind-the-stage wizardry is the result of the combined talents of Director Joel Ferrell, Musical Director Lindy Heath Cabe, Scenic Designer Bob Lavallee, Costume Designer Wade Laboissonniere, Lighting Designer Matthew Richards and Sound Designer Curtis Craig. ??
The ghosts are frighteningly fantastic. Brian Gonazales is both ominous and mournful as the ghost of Scrooge's late business partner, Jacob Marley. Blake Hackler plays a lively and spirited Ghost of Christmas Past. And nobody messes around with the divine Liz Mikel as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Mikel can convey as much emotion with the raising of an eyebrow as she can with her powerful, rich voice. Lee Trull also impresses as Scrooge's nephew Fred displaying a delightful sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.
Even a less-than-brilliant performance by Chamblee Ferguson as Scrooge can't dampen the spirit of this production. Ferguson is a Dallas Theater Center veteran and marvelously played Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's office clerk, in "A Christmas Carol" for years. As Scrooge, Ferguson delivers an unrestrained hammy performance.
Dallas Theater Center has been presenting "A Christmas Carol" each year since 1984. This production is the eighth and final production for this particular version of "A Christmas Carol." Dallas Theater Center is planning an all-new production for 2013 designed especially for the Wyly Theatre in the downtown Arts District. ??
God Bless Dallas Theater Center, every one involved, for such a rewarding and fulfilling holiday tradition.
"A Christmas Carol" runs through Dec. 23 at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek (at Blackburn) in Dallas. For info or tickets, call 214-526-8210 or visit www.dallastheatercenter.org