Things to Do

A New Spin on an Old Classic: ‘A Christmas Carol’

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Think you know the classic story of “A Christmas Carol”? Think again. This adapted version of Charles Dickens’ classic work combined old with new in the most charming way. Audience members familiar with the traditional show will be pleased by the Victorian backdrop, the presence of the original characters, and the basic plot points remaining intact. Those eager to embrace the new will appreciate the classic plot set to modern music.

Photo: Kirk Tuck

Songs from the last couple of decades, and even some from the last couple of years, show up in just the right places. Songs were chosen carefully as their lyrics perfectly fit what is happening in the play. For example, as a young Scrooge is watching with the Ghost of Christmas past as he coldly rejects his once soon-to-be bride, she belts out Whitney Houston’s “I Want to Dance With Somebody.” It is a slow, melodic version that captures her desire to be loved and to participate fully in life with a willing partner. Scrooge is only able to look on with regret as his love spins away mournfully.

Photo: Kirk Tuck

Each ghost offers a unique presentation. Both in costume and temperament, each was perfectly cast and outfitted, including a pregnant Chanel, whom audiences have seen in other ZACH Theatre productions.

Photo: Kirk Tuck

As in the original, the audience gets to witness the spiritual shift of one miserly soul. At first intent on a lonely existence and pursuit of wealth above all else, we eventually see him embrace the warmth, connection, and generosity that make this season magical. “A Christmas Carol” joyfully reminds us of what is most important in life.

Photo: Kirk Tuck

While largely an adult audience, “A Christmas Carol” at ZACH Theatre is appropriate for children, and recommended for ages 6 and older. This writer had a first-hand account of a five-year-old boy at first quite intimidated by the idea of a “mean man and ghosts” but was soon quite taken with the play and music, and ultimately had eyes glued to the action, even well past his bedtime. The show also provided this little boy a wonderful opportunity to think about the meaning of Christmas and the importance of generosity.

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