BWW Review: CHARLES DICKENS': A CHRISTMAS CAROL Haunts The Palace Theater in Georgetown, TX
With the Christmas holiday around the corner, we are reminded of our families' traditions and the joy that the spirit of Christmas brings this time of year. As many of our traditions revolve around presents, food and giving, Charles Dickens': A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a cautionary tale about miser Ebenezer Scrooge's hardened heart and greedy nature during the holiday season. After being visited by his late business partner Jacob Marley (who is definitely dead), a mirror is held to Scrooges deeds and mean spirit as he is visited by three entities that examine his past, present and what may be his future. Everyone has witnessed this tale through a variety of mediums - the classic novel by Charles Dickens, the recent movie adaption starring Jim Carrey, or the staged play of this holiday classic. Regardless of how an individual has come to know Scrooge and his greed, this Christmas classic echoes in our hearts and minds the power of kindness and the impact we have on those around us. Even though this story was originally published in 1843, it appears fresh at The Palace Theater as the recent adaption Charles Dickens: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, this rendition reimagines this old story in a new, more musical, way. With book, lyrics and music by Texas natives Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer, this version sticks with the classic tale but adds more performance opportunity with the musical numbers and ballads for the performers.
The Palace's large auditorium theater acts as a great vehicle for such a grand "fleet street-style" production. With a cast this large, the show's set and technical expertise were delightful as the audience members file in. A great technical aspect of the show was actual snow falling in sleepy London - this really added magic for the young kids in the audience and dared the adults to questions how this creative act is completed in the rafters. For all the tricks up the sleeves of the technical team at The Palace, A CHRISTMAS CAROL is beautiful to watch, but rather scattered with staging that was hard to follow. The blocking was executed, and as a show audience member knows, the characters and plot are familiar, but the new jokes and asides were missed by most of the talent onstage. As this show is set across the pond in England, the accents within the show were cockney/standard British-inspired for some, however for most the shaky accent was a distraction and retraction to the performers on stage. With the cast varying in performance ability, stand-out performers were welcomed with their natural presence and connection to their castmates and audience.
At the helm of this classic tale is Curt Olson playing Ebenezer Scrooge. There can be no argument - without a Scrooge, there is no A Christmas Carol. His performance was well-rounded, and he carried the show well throughout the introduction and conclusion of Scrooge's story. Other standout performers include Buddy Novak (playing Young Scrooge/Fred), Jason Lucio (playing Bob Cratchit) and Lorri Boyd (Charwoman/Ensemble) surprisingly delivering a stellar performance as a grave-digger. Novak, presenting himself as the young breakout talent of the show and jack of all trades, was very entertaining and proved himself as a well-rounded performer in singing and dancing. Lucio as Bob Cratchit delivered a heart-wrenching scene regarding the fate of his son, Tiny Tim. Excellently portrayed as a father in anguish, Lucio's emotional depth added much needed heart to the show's overall picturesque emotional feel. Lorri Boyd's performance in the grave-robber number was surprisingly very memorable. Acting as the resident dialect professional for this production, Boyd's vocal performance and presence were surprising and delightful through her complete commitment to her scene and support of the story.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a Krampus-style Christmas fable, reminding our youngsters to be kind and find love through generosity within their community. If you are looking for a Christmas classic to teach your children the woes of greed with a musical twist, The Palace Theater in Georgetown presenting Charles Dickens': A CHRISTMAS CAROL (a new musical) shares this classic with technical style while staying true to Dickens original metaphor of Christmas repentance.
CHARLES DICKENS': A CHRISTMAS CAROL (A new musical)
PALACE THEATRE GEORGETOWN, TX
December 8th - 30th
Tickets on sale now!