BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Charms, Touches, and Entertains
"I will live in the past, the present and the future."
By Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) tops off their successful 2019 Season with a production that is not to be missed. Now onstage through December 29 is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol adapted by Neil Bartlett. This is a show that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. With the exceptional direction of the Theatre's Education Director, Brian Crowe, the beloved story has unparalleled charm. It is seasonal entertainment at its finest.
Bartlett's adaptation was last seen on the STNJ Main Stage in 2011. It uses a small ensemble of multi-talented actors to bring colorful characters to life. In the familiar tale, three spirits visit Ebenezer Scrooge in one night and guide him through an incredible journey of his past, the present, and a bleak future if he doesn't mend his stingy, thoughtless ways. This story of transformation and redemption is timeless and confirms that it's never too late to change. See it, be entertained, and embrace the beautiful messages that the tale conveys.
Ames Adamson proves to be an ideal Ebenezer Scrooge as he masters the demanding role. He is joined by many of the long-time company members who also make the show one of the great theatrical events of the holiday season. They include Clark Scott Carmichael as Bob Cratchit; Garrett Lawson as Fred; Quentin McCuiston as the Ghost of Christmas Past/Tiny Tim; Emma O'Donnell as Mrs. Cratchit; Lindsay Smiling as Marley's Ghost/Ghost of Christmas Present; Raphael Nash Thompson as Mr. Fezziwig; Emily Walton as Fred's Wife; Alison Weller as Mrs. Fezziwig; and Billie Wyatt as Belle.
Scenes are artfully presented and capture the essence of the Dickens' classic with its drama, suspense, and merriment. Theatergoers will relish moments that include the ghost of Jacob Marley's frightening visit to Scrooge's home; Fezziwig's Christmas Ball; the loving Cratchit family's modest Christmas dinner; the alarming foreshadowing by the looming ghost from the future; Ebenezer's joy and generosity on Christmas morning; and Ebenezer's touching holiday visit to his nephew, Fred.
The design team has crafted sets, costumes, and special effects that are stunning. They include scenic design by Dick Block; costume design by Summer Lee Jack; lighting design by Andrew Hungerford and sound design by Steven L. Beckel. The Production Stage Manager is Denise Carderelli and the Assistant Stage Manager is Jackie Mariani. The Music Director is Robert Long.
We congratulate the Theatre's Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte and General Manager, Robert Worshinski on a fabulous 2019 season and look forward to the Company's exciting future.
A Christmas Carol runs for 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission. It is being performed through Sunday 12/29 in the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Rd. on the campus of Drew University), Madison, NJ. Tickets for the show begin at just $59 for regular performances. The Theatre is proud to continue its 30 UNDER 30 program which provides patrons age 30 and under with tickets for only $30 with a valid ID. For tickets and information, visit ShakespeareNJ.org or call the Box Office at 973.408.5600.
Photo Credit: Joe Guerin