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BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Indiana Repertory Theatre

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The production runs until December 26th

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Indiana Repertory Theatre

Have we ever needed a return to this cozy tradition more? The familiar landscape of fake snow and glowing lanterns welcomes new and old audiences to the Indiana Repertory Theatre's A Christmas Carol. There are many new elements in the production this year giving it a fresh feel, full of hope and promise.

IRT regular Rob Johansen takes the reigns as Scrooge for the first time. Ryan Artzberger, who has played Scrooge for the past decade, steps into the role of Scrooge's beleaguered clerk Bob Cratchit. IRT playwright-in-residence James Still directs Carl for the first time. There is also a more diverse cast than we've seen in the past, a great change!

Johansen is a perfect fit for Scrooge. He captures the cranky character's sense of sarcasm and scorn which transforms as the play unfolds. Johansen conveys a sincerity that makes Scrooge's altered state believable and poignant. The talented cast members all play a slew of characters. Their narration of the show in unison and dedication to the original language of the story adds to the immersive atmosphere in the theatre.

In the past, Carol has embraced a brisk 90-minute format with no intermission. This version is quite a bit longer and includes a 20-minute intermission. The change makes the show feel a bit long, especially with small kids. However, the Ghost of Christmas Future and the portrayal of "Want" and "Ignorance" are not nearly as terrifying as some previous years. That was a relief to me as I brought my five-year-old for the first time. She was in awe of the play and I didn't have to worry about any scary scenes.

I don't know if it was the exhausting toil of the past two years, or the new Scrooge, or Still's attention to the quiet emotional moments in the show, but this year's production packs a particularly emotional punch. From an altruistic lamplighter to a broken couple in debt, to the loving connections of the Cratchit family, all the joys of the true Christmas spirit can be found on stage at the IRT.

Don't Miss the Show

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "A Christmas Carol" runs until Sunday, Dec. 26 on IRT's Main Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com

Photos Courtesy of the Indiana Repertory Theatre


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