TEEN AMBASSADOR: HANNAH POWERS| DECEMBER 10, 2016
I went to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Zeiterion theatre in New Bedford last Saturday, and it was an event I’ll not soon forget.
I’d like to preface my review by saying how impressed I was and am with the cast. They’ve been to 650 cities in 49 states, and the experience of seeing them, live on stage, was truly incredible, especially after hearing about their long history of excellent productions.
I remember being immediately astounded by the complexity and vibrancy of the set. The second the curtain went up, I was raptly attentive. The details and the colors were incredible, and it transformed the stage into the world of Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character and famed penny-pincher in the theatre adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel “A Christmas Carol”. The lighting, too, lent itself to the mood and was expertly planned out for each scene.
Before I even had time to fully take in the intricacy of the set, the cast had already launched into song. I was greeted with thick English accents and impressive verve. Some of the words were a bit tough to decipher, given the heavy accents coupled with my distance from the stage, but the harmonies were delightful. The choreography was somehow natural and whimsical at the same time – shopkeepers whirling about the stage carrying their wares, children getting underfoot, and old Scrooge’s shop standing menacingly in the background.
The first number led into the introduction to the main man himself, Ebenezer Scrooge. In this adaptation, Scrooge is played by a relatively young man who still somehow manages to nail the role of the miserly, crotchety old man. While still staying true to the spirit of the original novel, this Scrooge is entertaining (comically and otherwise) to watch. His acting lends itself to making the whole story feel real and alive.
The other characters, too, were played truly brilliantly. Marley, Bob Cratchet, Tiny Tim, the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present – all fantastic. The costumes were bright and festive when needed, or, comparatively, duller, to reflect the moods of the scenes and the characters’ personalities. The only complaint that I have, cast / costume wise, is the Ghost of Christmas Future. Instead of having a human being play this character, the directors essentially had a black hung sheet hovering silently beside Scrooge. My complaint isn’t necessarily that it didn’t feel “realistic” – it just somehow ruined the mood of all the scenes that it was in. I was extremely bothered by this.
The transitions between the scenes were, however, very smooth. It made the whole show flow well. The live music, well planned out choreography, and beautiful costumes helped me to enjoy a (slightly too long) dance scene that I usually might have slept through. In addition, the props were impressive and brought the whole show up a level. In one scene, Scrooge’s bed moves by itself, and in another, green smoke pours from the fireplace before a ghostly Marley appears.
My favorite part about the whole show, however, was the humor. As I brought up when I mentioned Ebenezer Scrooge’s actor, comedy is worked seamlessly into the original plot of the show. It really made the whole thing much more enjoyable than I thought that it was going to be.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed “A Christmas Carol”. This group did a truly amazing job with it. I was and am very impressed.