Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park And U.S. Bank To Present A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 11/29 - 12/30

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The spirit of the season arrives at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as U.S. Bank presents Charles Dickens' classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL. A popular favorite with Tri-state families now in its 22nd year, A CHRISTMAS CAROL runs in The Playhouse's Robert S. Marx Theatre from Nov. 29 through Dec. 30.

First written in 1843, A CHRISTMAS CAROL was an instant success that sold 10,000 copies in just 10 days in its initial printing and often is credited with reinvigorating our modern holiday celebration. The book became the author's most popular work, translated into nearly every language and inspiring hundreds of television, film and stage adaptations.

Adapted by Howard Dallin, The Playhouse's version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. As he witnesses all those who have improved his life - his first love Belle, his kindhearted employer Fezziwig, his nephew Fred and his heartily abused clerk Bob Cratchit - he realizes that it's never too late to change his miserly ways. A CHRISTMAS CAROL's heartwarming message, along with hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects, helps to make the show one of The Playhouse's most Popular Productions each year.

This year's cast is comprised largely of returning actors. Local favorite Bruce Cromer will be humbugging as Ebenezer Scrooge for the eighth year. Also returning are Dale Hodges as the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake, Keith Jochim as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Amy Warner as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience and Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Guest at Fezziwig's. Stephen Skiles plays Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig's, Craig Wesley Divino plays Fred, Avery Clark plays Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future and Joy Farmer-Clary plays Belle/Catherine Margaret. Making their Playhouse debut are Michael Keyloun as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip and Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress.

Playing carolers and party guests are Suzanne Sefinatu Ayoka Blunk, Jamal Crowelle, Phillip Ray Guevara, Rachel McKeon, Kevin Percival, Heather Petersen, Datus Puryear and Betsy Rosen.

Nine area children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Returning are Allison Edwards as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig's, Von Eric Huhn as Tiny Tim, Jack Johnson as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig's, Carrington Shropshire as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig's and Naomi Stoner as Martha Cratchit/to the Guest at Fezziwig's. Other children include Grace Hehman as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig's Guest, Ethan Verderber as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig's/Bootblack, Aubrey Elizabeth Jones as Want/Guest at Fezziwig's and Joseph Forest Lennon Hamzy as Ignorance/ Matthew/Guest at Fezziwig's.

Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney, who has been associated with A CHRISTMAS CAROL since its first year (including two as Bob Cratchit), directs the show for the 20th time.

According to Haney, "One of my greatest joys every year is returning to Howard Dallin's faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The rich and colorful language of the book has been adapted into dialogue enabling the actors to speak in such a way as to retain the beauty and rhythm of the original prose. It is a beautiful retelling of, as I call it, the second greatest story ever told."

The design team includes James Leonard Joy (set designer), David Murin (costume designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), Steve O'Shea (lighting contractor) and David B. Smith (sound designer/composer). Dee Anne Bryll is the choreographer, and Rebecca N. Childs is the music director. The stage manager is Andrea L. Shell. Second Stage managers are Jenifer Morrow and Becky Merold.

All show times are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening shows to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There are no performances on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. Prices range from $30-$80, depending on day and seat location, and are subject to change. Tickets are $30 for the preview performance at 7 pm, Thursday, Nov. 29. Tickets for children, teens and students are $30. The official opening night is Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:00 pm.

For tickets to A CHRISTMAS CAROL or for more information, call The Playhouse box office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com.

Special Performances: Audio Described Performance at 2 pm on Saturday, December 8th and Signed Performance at 2 pm on Sunday, December 9th. Dining Options: Karlo's Bistro at The Playhouse offers full-service dining prior to most evening performances. Dinners include salad, entrée and dessert. Reservations are required by noon on the day of the show. The price is $27. Karlo's Casual Fare offers busy theatre patrons an alternative light, quick bite prior to the show. Options include salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta and desserts. No reservations are required.

Sponsors - Production Sponsor: U.S. Bank; Artist Sponsor: AAA and Provident Travel; Design Sponsor: Time Warner Cable. Supported by a generous endowment from The Stona Fitch Family. The 2012-2013 Marx Theatre Series is presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. The 2012 -2013 Robert S. Marx Season Design Sponsor is Macy's.

For the 17th year, The Playhouse will partner with Hoxworth Blood Center for a blood drive on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8 am – 2 pm. Blood donors who attend the special event will receive vouchers good for half-price tickets to select performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and the world premiere of ABIGAIL/1702.

Spaces fill up quickly, so call early for an appointment. Appointments can be made by registering online at www.hoxworth.org/groups/playhouse. Questions can be directed to Hoxworth at 513-451-0910.

At any time between now and Dec. 30, audience members can bring a new, unwrapped toy (appropriate for children up to age 13 and minimum $10 retail value) to The Playhouse and place it in the Toys for Tots barrel by the box office. The Marines will not accept used or second-hand toys or toys that have been removed from their original packaging. Similarly, plush or stuffed dolls that are not sold in a box or carton cannot be distributed. The Toys for Tots Foundation was created to help needy and underprivileged children experience the joys of Christmas. All toys donated after Dec. 14 will be used for Christmas 2013.

Characters from A Christmas Carol, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's Alice in Wonderland and Cincinnati Ballet's The Nutcracker will be spreading the holiday spirit at festive events all over town later this month. For a full listing of events, visit www.cincyplay.com.

The Playhouse is supported, in part, by the generosity of the tens of thousands of individuals and businesses that give to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund The Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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