Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Attleboro Community Theatre

At Attleboro Community Theatre through December 17th

By: Dec. 05, 2023
Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Attleboro Community Theatre

With the holiday season upon us, Attleboro Community Theatre (ACT)’s joyous, heartwarming production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is the quintessential reminder of what Christmas is all about—family, tradition, and generosity.

Under the stylish direction of Tammy England and co-director Jeanne Smith, the classic tale is told by Dickens himself (Bernie Larrivee), who recounts the events of an unforgettable, life-changing Christmas Eve for his inimitable protagonist, the miserly businessman, Ebenezer Scrooge (Geoff White).

Scrooge isn’t shy about the fact that he hates Christmas, so much so that he berates his employee, Bob Cratchit (an earnest, endearing Alan Stavris), for wanting the day off to celebrate with his family. In addition, he declines a dinner party invitation from his own nephew, Fred (an especially charming Bailey Goff), and shoos away a group of carolers. Furthermore, despite his success, Scrooge shuns any requests for charitable donations from the ladies of the neighborhood, Mrs. Bainbridge (Kira Santos) and Mrs. Dooley (Melanie Carrazzo).

Home alone on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley (Mark Carter, delightfully ghoulish). Bound in chains, Marley warns Scrooge of the despair that awaits him in the afterlife if he doesn’t change his ways. Soon thereafter, Scrooge reluctantly hosts three surprise guests who take him on a journey to revisit his past and present, and provide a sneak preview of his foreboding future.

Emily Partington delivers a beautifully poised performance as Past, helping Scrooge remember the boy and later young man that he used to be. Dave Almeida is superb as the spirited Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge’s former employer, who exudes kindness and merriment. As his long ago love interest, Belle, Hannah Kohler’s stoic portrayal effectively captures a glimpse of when the teenaged Scrooge (Goff) began to change—and ultimately not for the better.

A remarkably animated Alexander Panagopoulos is marvelous as Present, spreading cheer and elation while chastising Scrooge for his bitter disposition. Patrick Keister is impressively convincing as the scoundrel, Old Joe, using Scrooge’s impending demise for profit.

Geoff White’s performance as Scrooge is outstanding and intense. His voice, tone, facial expressions and body language are spot-on and perfectly embody how one would imagine the iconic curmudgeon to appear and behave. The actor’s profound portrayal carries the entire show with precision, humor, and above all, heart.

In addition to rhythmically directing a cast of more than three dozen actors, England and Smith deserve additional praise, respectively, for the striking set and exquisitely crafted costumes—and did I forget to mention the ghosts that float between the aisles?

Finally, it would be criminal (and much like the old Scrooge) if I failed to mention the supremely talented children of the cast whose energy and enthusiasm is not just evident but contagious.

“A Christmas Carol” at ACT is the perfect way to welcome the spirit of the yuletide season.

“A Christmas Carol” runs through December 17 at Attleboro Community Theatre, 71 North Main Street in Attleboro, MA. For information and tickets, call 508-226-8100 or visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2280547®id=79&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.attleborocommunitytheatre.net%2Fpurchase-tickets?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.

Photo by Dave Cantelli @photox_dc




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