Hal Landon Jr. Returns as Scrooge in SCR 'A Christmas Carol'

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Orange County's beloved holiday family tradition, returns to South Coast Repertory for its 28th incarnation.  Adapted for the stage by Jerry Patch and directed by John-David Keller, Dickens' classic tale runs on the Segerstrom Stage from Nov. 24 through Dec. 24.  Low-priced previews begin Nov. 24.  Opening night is Nov 30.  Press night is Dec. 1 at 7:30.  Tickets are available by calling the box office at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting www.scr.org.

Hal Landon Jr., who has never missed a season since he originated the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in 1980, returns as the world's most celebrated miser.  Joining the cast for the first time in pivotal roles are Karen Hensel as "Mrs. Fezziwig," Tom Shelton as "Jacob Marley" and "The Spirit of Christmas Yet-to-Come," Nathan Baesel as "Fred" and Joe Quintero as "Ebenezer as a Young Man."

The production features the return of Founding Artists and long-time cast members Richard Doyle (The Spirit of Christmas Past) and Art Koustik (Joe), as well as SCR regular Timothy Landfield (The Spirit of Christmas Present).    Director Keller also appears for the sixth season as "Mr. Fezziwig."  Returning in the roles of "Bob Cratchit" and "Mrs. Cratchit" are Daniel Blinkoff and Jennifer Parsons; and Jennifer Chu and Ann Marie Lee are back for their second seasons as "Belle" and "Sally," respectively.

A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843 as a novella and quickly became a perennial holiday favorite.  The story of love and redemption remains one of Charles Dickens' most widely recognized and popular creations.  On Christmas Eve, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge is his usual miserly self, chasing off solicitors for the poor, chastising his sole employee, Bob Cratchit, for wanting to take off Christmas Day and insulting his nephew Fred for celebrating a holiday that "has never put a penny in anyone's pocket."  But that night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead partner, who portends the arrival of three spirits who will show him the desolate path he has chosen and offer him a chance to correct his ways.

Joining the cast of A Christmas Carol are three graduates of South Coast Repertory's Professional Intensive Program:  Jessie Kim (Elizabeth Shelley), Bryan Vickery (Mr. Topper) and Branden McDonald (Young Jacob Marley).  The cast also includes16 local students selected from South Coast Repertory's Youth and Teen programs.  This year's group of Cratchit kids and street urchins consists of (by hometown):  Corona del Mar – Phillip Swanson; Garden Grove – Karoline Ribak; Foothill Ranch – Jacob Waller, Renee Waller; Fountain Valley – Zach Diamond; Huntington Beach – Brianna Beach, Lauren Speakman; Irvine – Anita Abdi, Kamisha Brooks, Pranav Mutatkar, Matthew Pancoe; Lake Forest – Nick Johnson; Newport Beach – Parker Cohn; San Clemente – Jason Risdana; San Juan Capistrano – Brenna Barker, Gracie Gordon.

The creative team for A Christmas Carol includes Tom Buderwitz (set design), Dwight Richard Odle (costume design), Tom and Donna Ruzika (lighting design), Dennis McCarthy (musical arrangement/composer), Drew Dalzell (sound design), Dennis Castellano (vocal director), Linda Kostalik (choreographer), Hisa Takakuwa (Assistant Director) and Erin Nelson (stage manager).

Julianne and George Argyros are Honorary Producers, and The Orange County Register and Cox are Media Partners.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol can be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.  Ticket prices range from $23 to $55.

Performances begin on Nov. 24 and continue through Dec. 24.   Low-priced preview performances are available from Nov. 24-27.  Performance times:  Previews:  Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25 at 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m.  Regular Performances:  Tuesday - Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. and Monday, December 24 at 4:00 p.m. Discounts are available for children 12 and under and groups of 15 or more.  There will be an ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theater Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.

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