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BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!

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A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theatre

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!
The cast of Alley Theatre's
production of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Lynn Lane.

A Christmas Carol is an age-old classic that tells the story of redemption and the importance of love and compassion. It follows a man, Ebeneezer Scrooge, known for his greed and cruelty to others. Following the visits of an old friend, and three timely spirits, Ebeneezer is shown what his greed and cruelty will lead to if he does not turn from his stubborn ways. In the third and final visit, Ebeneezer realizes that the outcome he is shown is not the outcome he wants and so he chooses to humble himself and allow kindness to dictate the way he interacts with others. This changes his life and the lives of those around him.

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!
David Rainey as Scrooge
and Todd Waite as Marley
in Alley Theatre's production
of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Lynn Lane.

The Alley Theatre, in its tradition of giving the city of Houston a joyous Christmas season, continues on in its 75th year. After many Houston theatres have had to transition to a digital season last year, A Christmas Carol has returned to one of the city's most beloved theatres. With a slight transition than what audiences are used to, The Alley Theatre, under the direction of its Artistic Director, Rob Melrose and Managing Director, Dean R. Gladden, bring Houston an inventive adaption of A Christmas Carol.

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!
Christine Friale as Clown 3,
Luis Quintero as Clown 2,
Dylan Godwin as Clown 1,
and David Rainey as Scrooge
in Alley Theatre's production
of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Lynn Lane.

The play, adapted by Doris Baizley, begins with a stage manager and a prop boy getting ready for the first day of rehearsals of A Christmas Carol. We watch as the stage manager, played by the Alley's own David Rainey, and a prop boy, played by Juan Sebastian Cruz in his third show at the Alley, go over the checklist of every prop needed for the show. This is something the production celebrates as we're given clues for the Scavenger hunt in our playbill. We continue along the list until our prop boy halts in trepidation at the horrifying realization that the production has everything sans a chain. "How can you do a Christmas Carol without Bob Marley's chain?", barks the stage manager. "We believe!"

And that is exactly what this production of A Christmas Carol invites us to do. This production, led by its director, Brandon Weinbrenner, is one that reminds us all that the spirit of theatre is one where the scarcity found in theatre is made abundant when the hearts that come together to tell a story tell it with honesty. I found that the choice to do this script was a good one for where theatre is today. We are all coming back to our lives, picking up the pieces of where we left off before a pandemic separated us into isolation. Now the hearts that will remain are the hearts who have shown up again, today, without a chain, without lead characters, but with a willingness to figure it out together and in love. That is the spirit of theatre.

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!
The cast of Alley Theatre's
production of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Lynn Lane.

I'm grateful to have witnessed this production. It was bare of many elements but lacking nothing. It had an ensemble cast who make theatre-going exciting. It had the grit of a company willing to come back to the shattered remains and rebuild what could be rebuilt. And it had an audience, willing to say, "If y'all are back, I'll be there too."

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Returns to The Alley Theatre!
The cast of Alley Theatre's
production of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Lynn Lane.

This is what makes Houston so special. The people. Their hearts. And their willingness to continue another day.

If you choose to bring your family to this long-standinding tradition, I hope you take a few family photos and/or selfies in front of one of the many beautiful Christmas trees curated around the space. In its 15th year, Deck the Trees is a holiday tradition that also continues on at The Alley Theatre. It is co-chaired by Eloise Brice and Rose Hachner Nelson. It is open now through January 3, 2022.

A Christmas Carol is open now until December 29, 2021.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Covid 19 Safety Policies And Procedures

The Alley Theatre Is Committed To The Health And Safety Of All Of Our Artists, Employees, And Guests.

In Order To Maintain The Safest Environment Possible:

  • All Guests Aged 12 And Up Will Be Required To Show Proof Of A Negative Covid-19 Test Within 72 Hours

  • Alternatively, Proof Of Vaccination For All Guests 12 And Up Attending Performances And Events At The Alley Theatre

  • All Alley Staff, Artists, Creative Teams, Crews, And Ushers Are Required To Be Fully Vaccinated Against Covid-19

  • All Guestsa??Must Wear A Mask Covering Nose And Mouth At All Timesa??While In The Theatre Building, Except While Actively Eating And Drinking.


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