Review: North Shore's 'A Christmas Carol' Returns - 30 Years Strong

by Steve Duffy

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday December 20, 2021

David Coffee and Alex Puette in "A Christmas Carol" at North Shore Music Theatre - Dec 2-23. Photo©Paul Lyden
David Coffee and Alex Puette in "A Christmas Carol" at North Shore Music Theatre - Dec 2-23. Photo©Paul Lyden  

Among the annual holiday traditions making a return, there's something special about Bill Hanney's North Shore Music Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol," which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is one anniversary you don't want to miss.

Its fulsome cast truly embrace the holiday spirit and fills the theater with Christmas joy. And even after 27 years, David Coffee's portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge is truly amazing. He inhabits the part from beginning to end.

Cheryl McMahon returns for her 27th year as Scrooge's housekeeper, Mrs. Dilber. Her expressive face and comic timing are always an absolute delight to watch.

Other returning favorites are the lovely Leigh Barrett, who is vocally perfect as the beautiful Ghost of Christmas Past, and Russell Garrett, who portrays Scrooge's kind clerk, Bob Cratchit.

The ensemble cast, and especially the kids, are all equally amazing and deliver dynamite performances.

The special effects are truly amazing, especially the flying Jacob Marley. The original songs and beautifully period costumes, and the solid choreography never gets old.

What I love about this "theatre in the round" is the intimacy that is created behind the audience and the stage. There truly is no bad seat in the house.

If you haven't made this show a family tradition, there is still time to start.


"A Christmas Carol" is now playing until December 23rd. Approximately 2h 20m (includes intermission). For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit www.nsmt.org, or visit the box office in person at 54 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA.