BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at McCarter Brings Joy
If there was every a time for the redemptive promise of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, this is it. The production at McCater Theatre Center, the second year for this particular version directed by Adam Immerwahr, delivers with Greg Wood's deft portrayal of a Scrooge we can all root for, supported by a talented cast and masterful production design.
Wood is enchanting, even as he "bah humbugs" through this fast-paced reckoning with the ghosts of his past, present, and future. His transformation, which builds like a well-plotted puzzle until it's completion, is a highlight of the production. His unbridled joy at the second chance at life is infectious.
Sue Jin Song, reprising the role of Mrs. Dilber, brings delightful comedy to her scenes with "Mr. Scrooge" and Jon Hudson Odom as Ebenezer's nephew, Fred, shines, offering optimism, forgiveness, and a reminder of his uncle's familial bond.
This production does not linger long on moments of loss or suffering-the plight of the Cratchit family, the children of London, the duping of Fuzziwig or farewell to Fan, can't compete with the ebullient pace that drives, unrelentingly, to the end.
Considering this is an annual production, it's worth asking how much these elements deserve more attention in years to come, as does the use of the community ensemble. But those are questions for another year. As Scrooge learns, there is no time like the present to spread the joys of the season.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL features returning McCarter Carol veterans Jessica Bedford, Anne L. Nathan, Jamila Sabares-Klemm, Sue Jin Song, and Greg Wood. Newcomers include Zeke Edmonds, Michael Genet, Christopher Livingston, Jon Hudson Odom, ?Jon Norman Schneider, and Thom Sesma. In addition, two Community Ensemble members are cast in major roles for this production: Mimi B. Francis of North Brunswick, NJ returns as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Tess Ammerman of Princeton, NJ features in the roles of Fan and Miss Kate.
Ticket Information and Performance Schedule
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol runs December 5 - 31 in the Matthews Theatre. Single tickets range from ?$25 - $102.50 and are on sale now online at mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Center Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.
Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson