BWW Review: A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS CAROL at Mile Square Theatre
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has had many, many adaptions for all forms of media and art. Mile Square Theatre's "A Merry Little Christmas Carol" might be the finest yet. It's pure theatricality and invention is nothing short of brilliant.
Dickens' tale has been recreated time and again as a seasonal ghost story for families with a little homily to celebrate the season and one another. The moral is often work less, be charitable and good to yourself and your co-workers.
Here in Mile Square's cozy theater, writer/director Mark Shanahan breathes spectacular new life into the old chestnut, creating an enchanting spectacle that truly is something special. Bruce Warren is a delight as Scrooge. Barrel-chested and gruff, barking at one and all. Warren embodies the joyless miser we've come to know and hate. He's appropriately grim but graceful - yet Shanahan's book explores how family and work became secondary to scraping an earning.
The four other cast members deftly portray many characters - male, female, and ghostly with absolute precision and unique differences either accent, posture, or costume. There's an impish Paul Gary as Bob Cratchit, Joe Delafield - portrays young characters such as Scrooge's good-natured nephew and Cratchit's elder son. Kelsey Roberts and Joi Danielle Price score most of the female roles with panache. Roberts is equally tender as Scrooge's boyhood crush and his sister, while Price enhances her turn as the Ghost of Christmas Present with a lovely song. This is an adept, polished cast clearly having fun with one another and the material. Their joy is bountiful and abundant bringing the audience more closely into the story.
The creative team is top notch. Charlie Corcoran's set is simple like a Victorian storybook. Matthew J. Fick's lighting is warm. Costume designer Peter Fogel deserves major notice for the creative, quick changes and distinct layers created for all the actors. The simplicity is genius. MST resident scenic artist and prop master Emmett Grosland and sound designer Sean Hagerty generate handsome distinctive work, as well.
Shanahan's direction is creative and together with his strong designers and brilliant actors a truly engaging, holiday bauble is crafted. Families of all ages will appreciate the message and the creativity on generous display.
Tickets and more information at https://www.milesquaretheatre.org/