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A Christmas Carol: 33 years old and still going strong
A Christmas Carol: 33 years old and still going strong
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

A Christmas Carol
Directed by
Kurt Beattie
ACT Theatre
Through December 27


It's a holiday tradition just like going to the Nutcracker at the ballet. A Christmas Carol, as done by ACT Theatre, is presenting the 33rd edition of the venerable story. This year, the honor of playing Scrooge is shared between Allen Fitzpatrick and Sean G. Griffin. David Pichette, a veteran Scrooge for many years, has opted to take on ensemble roles and the scenery-chewing role of the ghost of Marley.

Allen Fitzpatrick, the Scrooge for this viewer's pleasure, is initially a clearly unpleasant fellow, who deserves everything he's about to get. Once he has learned his lesson, his delight in expressing the nicer emotions is quite funny.

It's an excellent production, spinning like a top around a cotton candy maker. Veteran ensemble members such as Charles Leggett, Todd Licea, Marianne Owen, Morgan Rowe, and Brandon Whitehead execute their multiple roles with panache. Young actors Amelia Rose Brummel, Madison Avery Gordon, Shereen Khatibloo, Brandon Engman, Nick Robinson, Paul Teegarden-Nash, and adorable Maia Glass Quicksall as Tiny Tim, add their energy to multiple roles. Mark Murphey makes a heart-tugging figure as the beleaguered Bob Cratchit.

Technical excellence abounds, creating fun sound effects and echoey voice effects (Chris Walker), smoky ambiance, scary sudden gaping floor effects and a flexible set (Shelley Henze Schermer), elaborate period costumes (Deb Trout), and evocative lighting (Michael Wellborn) that delight and astound - especially the smaller children. Lovely original music by Adam Stern and light choreography by Wade Madsen add to the atmosphere.

The adaptation by the late Gregory A. Falls is short (80 minutes) and, while a formal rendition of the language, quite easily accessible for most children, but you might want to hold off bringing a child unless around age seven or so. It would likely be a bit too threatening for the tinier set. If you haven't made it over to ACT to see about adding this to your annual traditions, maybe it's time you did.

For more information, go to www.acttheatre.org or call 206-292-7676.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

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