Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Indiana Repertory Theatre

Classic Holiday Show Doesn't Disappoint

By: Dec. 06, 2023
Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Indiana Repertory Theatre

A Christmas Carol is back at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. This holiday tradition is an audience favorite for a reason. New this year, Priscilla Lindsay directs and brings so much humor into the show with playful moments between the cast members. 
 
The set and plot are familiar but there are always unique elements. It feels like a well-oiled machine (in a good way) with a quick pace, smooth changes between the scenes, and a cast that’s wonderfully in synch. The chorus of actors narrating the story in Dickens’ own words works so well. I loved seeing the addition of a shadow show that helps flesh out Scrooge’s childhood scenes and adds joy to a sometimes bleak moment. Ryan Artzberger plays Bob Cratchit and his sweet interactions with Tiny Tim add a tender layer to the show and make the child’s fate all the more poignant. 
 
The costumes are absolutely lovely and including mannequins on the stage for quick coat changes worked well. I loved the displays on the second floor of the lobby which allow patrons to touch materials used and see how certain set pieces were created. It makes it such a fun immersive experience, especially for kids.
 
Each section of the play, past present, and future have a different atmosphere. Whether it’s nostalgia, embarrassment, regret, dread, or hope, the shift in tone is handled so well. Rob Johansen’s transformation as Scrooge is night and day. 
 
The production is recommended for fourth graders and older. I took a second grader who had lots of questions but loved it. The ghost of Christmas future is perfectly creepy, but not nearly as scary as some years.
 
A Christmas Carol is not a saccharine story. It’s a tale of the darkness we can so easily slip into when our priorities lose their focus and we value things over people, losing our eternal perspective. The message that we are shaped both by our circumstances and more importantly, by the choices we make in reaction to them, is a timeless one. Because of that, the story feels fresh each year. 

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. 24 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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