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Review: A STEAMPUNK CHRISTMAS CAROL at Players On High At The Carlisle Theatre

Review: A STEAMPUNK CHRISTMAS CAROL at Players On High At The Carlisle Theatre

This outstanding production runs through December 18th

One of the joys of live theatre is that audiences can see the same show multiple times and experience something new and different each and every time. This was particularly true for this reviewer, who had the opportunity to see three different incarnations of A Christmas Carol. First published in 1843, this Christmas ghost story by Charles Dickens continues to capture our imaginations. Carlisle Theatre presents a creative and engaging production of A Steampunk Christmas Carol under the direction of Ashley Shade Byerts and R.J. Lesch through December 18th.

Every element of this production works together to create a mesmerizing experience. The costumes, set, sound, lighting, special effects (including sparking lights, moving gears, and fog), and projections are all designed to revolve around the steampunk motif, giving the audience the sensation of truly being in Victorian London. This show features a large cast with a whole host of outstanding performances and not one weak link.

Taking the stage in this performance are: Aaron Moore (Peter Cratchit), Abby Moore (Laundress/Marley Handler), Aedan Shevlin (Fred), Alyanna Montgomery (Belle/Ghost of Future 1), Andy Wagner (Young Husband/Bill), April Cuffley (Raucous Lady, Mother, Ghost Future 4), Ashley Sheffe (Sarah/Ghost Future 3), Bee Love (Martha Cratchit/Fred's Guest), Ben Greenberg (Bob Cratchit), Ben Pariser (Beggar/Man 2), Brian Silva (Young Ebenezer), Caroline Edwards (Belle's Daughter), Cathryn Moore (Want/Street Boy), Catie MO (Ghost Present), Chris Jones (Shopkeeper/Schoolmaster), David Kretzig (Ignorance, Londoner, Caroler), Elizabeth Muldoon (Soloist/Flower Girl), Ellen Davis (Young Fan), Emerald Canary (Belinda Cratchit), Emily Balog (Miss Fezziwig 3/Ghost Future 5), Hadley Qualls (Ghost of Past/Ghost Future 2), Hank Sollman (Boy Londoner/School Boy), Janelle French (Mrs. Cratchit), John Fitzgerald (Charles Dickens), Kimberly Edwards (Mrs. Fezziwig/Fred's Guest/Woman in Black), Kyle Davis (London Bobby/Warden 2/Old Joe), Laurel Trefren and Juniper Greisemer (Tiny Tim), Liliana Rice (Felicity/Miss Fezziwig 2), Livy Sollman (Girl on Street/School Girl), Mary Adams (Cook/Charwoman), Max Balog (School Student/Londoner), Michael Griesemer (Dick Wilkins/Belle's Husband), Piper Cauthon (Miss Fezziwig 1/Young Wife), Rick Sheffe (Mr. Fezziwig, Undertaker's Man/Warden 1), Rick Sollman (Gentleman 2/Fred's Guest), Russ Moore (Topper/Man 4), Simon Davis (School Boy/Londoner), Tanner Holtry (Boy Scrooge), Will Ashmore (Jacob Marley), William Donaldson (Gentleman 1, Fan's Husband, Fred's Guest, Man 1), and Dave Lang (Ebenezer Scrooge).

All of the actors in this production bring an intensity to the stage that immediately engages the audience and holds their attention throughout the performance. Even when they are not the focus of the scene, every actor is fully in character, reacting to the events going on around them, and interacting beautifully with one another. Three of the most remarkable scenes in the show involve the majority of the cast-Fezziwig's party, which is definitely a highlight of the show, featuring energetic choreography and music that makes the audience want to get up and dance with them; the end of the first act, which gives the audience a glimpse into the emotional turmoil Scrooge is experiencing as the specters of his past, present, and future haunt him; and the final, iconic scene in which Tiny Tim proclaims "God bless us, everyone!".

There are so many fantastic performances in this production-here are just a few of the stand-outs. William Ashmore, with Mary Adams and Abby Moore as Spirit Movers, delivers a spine-tingling performance as Marley. These three actors work as a unit, mirroring one another's movements and expressions, creating a fluid and eerie scene for Scrooge's first haunting. Hadley Qualls and Catie MO are delightful as Ghost of Past and Ghost of Present, respectively. They both have incredible stage presence and lovely interactions with Dave Lang's Ebenezer Scrooge as they watch the scenes of past and present play out in front of them. The use of multiple actors to portray the Ghost of Future is highly creative and adds to the sense that the future is multi-faceted, ever-changing, and nebulous-dependent on the decisions people have made in the past and the decisions they make today. John Fitzgerald, as Charles Dickens (who narrates the story), and Dave Lang, as Ebenezer Scrooge, are simply outstanding. They keep the story moving and use their voices, movements, and stage presence to draw the audience into each scene.

One might think that, after already seeing two versions of A Christmas Carol this year, this reviewer would be tired of the story and run out of things to write. Clearly that is not the case. This production of A Steampunk Christmas Carol at Carlisle Theatre is fast-paced, high-energy, emotional, and filled with joy and hope. It is a performance you do not want to miss this holiday season. Visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2214158®id=194&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fcarlisletheatre.showare.com%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1 to get your tickets before time runs out!

Photo by: Pixel Chic Designs by Dani's Pixel Place



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Andrea Stephenson’s love of music and theatre was nurtured by her parents. She started performing as a singer and actor in elementary school, and her passion for the performing arts grew thro... (read more about this author)


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Carlisle Theatre presents a creative and engaging version of A Christmas Carol. This production of A Steampunk Christmas Carol at Carlisle Theatre is fast-paced, high-energy, emotional, and filled with joy and hope. It is a performance you do not want to miss this holiday season.