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Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre

This classic production – faithful to the beloved Dickens story - has been warming hearts at the Players Theatre for 14 years. 

Tis the season for holiday traditions, and in Greenwich Village, NYC there is no greater tradition than "A Christmas Carol the Musical" Off-Broadway at the Players Theatre.

This classic production - faithful to the beloved Dickens story - has been warming hearts at the Players Theatre for 14 years. Directed and choreographed by Pierce Cassedy, with original music by Michael Sgouros, played by a live percussion trio, the show is wrapped in joy, suspense and a sprinkling of tender-hearted redemption.

Written in 1843, Charles Dickens' tale follows Ebenezer Scrooge (Players Theatre favorite - Eric Fletcher), a cold-hearted miser, as he is visited by four ghosts, starting with his old business partner, Jacob Marley. As Scrooge is forced to face his past and present, he begins to regret the man he has become, while a glimpse of his future redeems and restores him to the man he was always meant to be.

This production is a sincere retelling of the original tale, featuring 14 adult actors playing over 30 roles and a children's ensemble of 7 (including Players favorites Avery Ilardi and Jasper Durgin-Bruce who rotate performances and, of course, 1 scene-stealing dog - Bravo Bell. Eric Fletcher reprises his role of Scrooge for the 12th year. Fletcher eagerly shows us Scrooge's present state of mind in the musical prologue where he combats the townspeople, attempting to prove that Christmas is a "humbug". Scrooge's nephew, Fred (Theron Taylor Montgomery), tries his best to cheer up his grumpy uncle. And, of course, Bob Cratchit (Devon Turchan) is working away struggling to please his cranky and demanding boss. Even the well-intentioned Solicitor (Sue-Ellen Mandell) can't crack Scrooge.

With joyful brief intermissions of "Deck the Halls" sung by a trio of Carolers, Scrooge can't seem to escape. The first night, as the story goes, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley (Randy Kessenich). But Scrooge scoffs at Marley, trying to convince him that the pursuit of wealth is a noble. This sends Marley into a tizzy as he rattles his chains and shouts "Doom!" in the song "Mankind is Your Business".

Later, as Scrooge realizes how far he has strayed from the young and hopeful boy of his youth, he reflects on the moments of his past singing "Regret" in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Past (Andrea Woodbridge). Christmas Past reminds Scrooge of the generosity of his previous employer, Mr. Fezziwig, as well as the moment a younger Scrooge (Michael DeRosa) let the love of his life, Belle (Emily Sharick) go in the pursuit of wealth. Next, he is greeted by the magical Ghost of Christmas Present (Brenda Bell), who through a montage of scenes underscored by traditional Christmas carols, shows him the life he has forged through greed and apathy. Scrooge struggles to understand how his nephew, Fred, and his wife, Franny, can remain so happy and joyful even in tough times. The final and most eerie ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Courtney Hansen), here personified as a somber Victorian woman in black mourning attire, floats silently onto the stage pointing ominously to the shadows of the future, which includes a dark-comedic musical number "The Penny-Pincher is Dead" that foreshadows Scrooges future. Throughout the hour-long production, beautiful dancers (Shea Coughlin and Arianna Stendardo) and classic Carolers (Lexi Showalter, Miciah Wallace, Michael Derosa, Randy Kessenich, Shea Coughlin and Arrianna Stendardo) weave together the story with magic and spirit.

"This is a show for everyone," stated director Brenda Bell, "we can all identify with the desire to have an opportunity to redeem ourselves. Each year the same families return to celebrate the holiday joy that touches us all. It's a NYC tradition." The musical is amply accompanied by three musicians who handle the robust score utilizing over 30 instruments that bring the lively piece to life as well as provide sound effects. Playing percussion instruments ranging from the standard marimba to the more obscure creations, the musicians bring the score to life in full view of the audience.

The show is enhanced by lush lighting by Jessica Choi, cheerful period costumes by Courtney Hansen and a gorgeous authentic Pantos set by London artist Cleo Pettitt.

"A Christmas Carol", with music by Michael Sgouros and book and lyrics by Brenda Bell offers a free family workshop before the Sunday 11a family matinee. Families can learn how the production team brought the book to life onstage. After meeting the composer, playwright and Scrooge himself (offering reassurance to the younger audience members that the ghosts are really just actors pretending), everyone is invited to create gifts that they can share with loved ones this holiday season. Coupled with the show, this two-hour experience adds up to a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family.

"A Christmas Carol" runs through December 30th on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7p. Saturday matinee at 3p and Sunday Family Matinee at 11a and a 2p matinee. Performances are at the Players Theatre located at 115 MacDougal Street (between Bleecker and West 3rd). Tickets are $42-$62 and can be purchased at: www.ScroogeInTheVillage.com or at the box office.

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Photos: A CHRISTMAS CAROL The Musical Returns To Players Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL



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