Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Christmas Carol -ACT Theater

ACT Theater
Runs Through December 24, 20006

The classic Charles Dickens' novel, adapted for the stage by Gregory A. Falls, brings to life one of the most timeless and beloved stories of redemption and rebirth that our world has ever known. Margaret Layne, the ACT Theater's Artistic Associate and Casting Director, states quite eloquently in her short piece "Keeping Christmas Well: How Charles Dickens Invented Christmas" included in the program that Dickens' story truly created Christmas as we know it today. Long ago there was a time when there would be a 12-day celebration of Christmas during which all of London would celebrate together in solidarity and joy. The Industrial Revolution blotted out that time-taking along with the blue sky in its ever-darkening cloud of soot and work. However, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," written, unusually, not primarily for financial compensation in printed publications, brought back that spirit of old; that loving spirit in which all women and men came together to celebrate a year past and a new year to begin.

This production of "A Christmas Carol" brings ever more charm and magic to the time-worn story. R. Hamilton Wright's direction brings sense of life and vividness to each character whether they are speaking or simply walking by in the bustling crowd of London. Each person and each piece of the set has a purpose and an artistic realism that brings the audience into the world of Dickens' imagination and pulls on the audience's emotions until Tiny Tim's (Langston Guettinger, DeLancey Grace Zeller Lane) overwhelming innocence and Scrooge's (Terry Edward Moore, David Pichette) eventual redemption boil up the most heartwarming joy the theater and classic literature have to offer.

The design team created a spectacular world for the characters to roam. Trap doors lead to new worlds and imaginary buildings bringing the audience inside the world of the play. One is, however, snapped back to reality any time imaginary drinks are poured and consumed. Regardless of the lack of liquids, the world is absorbing and wonderful and a creation for which to be proud.
Terry Edward Moore and Langston Guettinger, "A Christmas Carol" Photo: Chris Bennion. (2006)

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