BWW Review: Hail, Hail The Hale's A CHRISTMAS CAROL

BWW Review: Hail, Hail The Hale's A CHRISTMAS CAROL

David Dietlein's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL gift wraps the celebrated tale of Ebenezer Scrooge's redemption with all the sparkle, festivity, and messaging that befits the Holiday Season. It is Hale Centre Theatre's 15th annual love letter to the community, a resplendent and intimate affair that displays the spirited choreography of Cambrian James, Brian Daily's glittering special effects, and Mary Atkinson's well-tailored period costumes. And, it stays true to the Ted Lehman adaptation of Dickens's novel that Hale adopted decades ago.

Dietlein leverages every inch and level of his theatre in the round to the max, and within the confines of Hale's intimate setting, a perfectly tuned ensemble, under the direction of Lincoln Wright, carols a medley of songs of cheer and grace.

Because of its popularity, Hale's schedule of performances alternates between a Green and Red Cast, featuring, respectively Mark Kleinman (the focus of my 2015 review) and Cory McCloskey as Scrooge.

McCloskey is superb. Dietlein gives him full rein to deliver a uniquely affable and sympathetic man of avarice. As much as he may scold the solicitors of charity, chide his nephew (Jeff Deglow), exploit clerk Bob Cratchit (Miles David Romney), and otherwise Humbug! his way through the holiday, the vulnerability of 's Scrooge is apparent from the first tip of his top hat through his encounters with the ghosts of Christmas Past (Holly Payne), Present (Mark Hackmann), and Future (Malcolm Hooper). McCloskey sweeps across the stage, his face and gestures a perfect roadmap to the miser's moods, swirling his black cape like a matador and shedding, slowly but surely, Scrooge's veneer of cynicism and greed. So it goes that not every deplorable is irredeemable.

Joy and charity abound in this marvelous celebration of the Christmas spirit. This production is the perfect Holiday fare for the entire family, a must-see show that runs through December 23rd at the Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert's Heritage District.

Photo Credit: Nick Woodward-Shaw

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