By Deena Kinarthy, Arts & Entertainment

The show last Thursday night opened to a darkened stage with a single ghost lamp, as the narrator explains (used to ward off spirits) sitting stark at the edge of the audience.  And then- an actor comes on stage to remove the lamp and he says they won’t be needing that tonight.  The ambience is set- spooky yet intimate. Surprising yet relatable. The production is full of such incredible moments.  Tom McBeath, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, handles the role with a nuanced, layered performance, making his miserly character sympathetic as we go on the journey with him to the past, present, and future Christmas Eve.  We go on Scrooge’s transformative journey from a stingy, cold-hearted billionaire, to a generous philanthropist.  Through the three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, played brilliantly by Gerry Mackay, we get a glimpse into Scrooge’s life and how he came to be the way he is- and we see his regret change to hope for a better future.

There are even some humorous moments throughout the show, such as in the past scene in Mr. Fezziwig’s shop where Ebenezer worked as a young lad, two boys were putting up the Christmas decorations.  There were some surprised, unexpected moments as the boys attempted to put up the long wreaths across the top of the stage, while standing on a ladder, but they kept falling down.  Mr. and Mrs. Fizziwig, played by Brian Linds and Jan Wood, seamlessly carried the scene through hilariously added lines, and they kept the charming, funny moments going, culminating in uproarious laughter from the audience.

Overall, this was probably the best production of A Christmas Carol I have seen. The acting was top-notch, the set simple yet perfectly adorned, and the production was full of wonderful, surprising moments.  I would recommend going to get your tickets while you still can!


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