Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Golden Gate Theatre

Dicken's A Christmas Carol

Lottery Tickets Available For THE BOOK OF MORMON in San Francisco

Charles Dicken's beloved holiday chestnut is the ultimate feel-good vehicle, beautifully staged in this 5-time Tony Award winning production that is sure to pack em in at the Golden Gate Theatre. The feel-good theme of second chances in life resonates strongly in the timeless story of a Ebeneezer Scrooge's transformation from cold, bitter miser to generous, giddy philanthropist.

Lit by dozens of hanging lanterns, the simple set is four door frames signifying Scrooge's office/bedroom. There is a chorus of Christmas hymn singing madrigals playing hand bells and assorted string instruments providing exposition of the tale. The ghostly apparitions arrive with corresponding gloom and dread, especially the arrival of the ghost of Jacob Marley (Ben Beckley). The atmosphere is ethereal and wondrous - great for lovers of the supernatural.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Amber Iman) displays a world of social disarray, poverty, and misery, where Scrooge easily distances himself and assumes no responsibility - an indictment of him that resonates with our modern times. Scorn and ridicule do not seem to affect Scrooge until his transformation and redemption.

Lottery Tickets Available For THE BOOK OF MORMON in San Francisco
Francois Battiste (Scrooge) and Ben Beckley (Jacob Marley)

This production, by way of the Old Vic, then a successful 2019 Broadway run, is stunningly beautiful, excellently staged and both classic and contemporary crafted by a team that includes Tony winner Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and originally directed and conceived by Tony Award winner Matthew Warchus (Matilda), featuring scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner Rob Howell; lighting design by Tony Award winner Hugh Vanstone; sound design by Tony Award winner Simon Baker; music, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tony Award winner Christopher Nightingale; music direction by Matt Smart; music supervision by Paul Staroba; and music coordination by Howard Joines. Hard to go wrong with such a distinguished pedigree.

Lottery Tickets Available For THE BOOK OF MORMON in San Francisco
San Francisco company of A Christmas Carol

Scrooge is played by Obie award winning stage and screen star Francois Battiste, who commands the stage with his commitment to the Scrooge character without veering towards caricature. His Scrooge is emotionally damaged evidenced by his visitation from the Ghost of Christmas Past (the wonderful Nancy Opel). An abusive father (again Ben Beckley), social isolation and lost love (Ash Malloy) help create the present Scrooge. We can empathize with his mental state while being repelled by its excesses. The excellent cast includes local actors: Samuel Faustine, Rodney Jackson Jr., Annie Sherman, Monica Ho, Ash Malloy, Colin Thompson and Ben Beckley

Lottery Tickets Available For THE BOOK OF MORMON in San Francisco
San Francisco Company of A Christmas Carol

It's a happy ending for all, replete with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek arrival of food for a Christmas feast at the Cratchit home. It's a modern audience-immersive device that adds a local flavor to the productions (e.g., a pie from a trader named Joe). Add in a dusting of snow and you have the perfect family holiday treat.

A Christmas Carol runs through December 26th, 2021. Tickets can be purchased at 888-746-1799 or online at

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

RELATED STORIES - San Francisco / Bay Area

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus to Close Out Season 45 with Music From WICKED, THE WIZ & More

Closing out Season 45, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will present Hello Yellow Brick Road—a one-night-only ultimate mash-up of Sir Elton John and all things Oz. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Cast Revealed For LES MISERABLES in San Francisco This Summer

Casting for Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, LES MISÉRABLES, has been announced for the San Francisco engagement, performing July 5–23, 2023 at BroadwaySF’s Orpheum Theatre.

BLIPPI: THE WONDERFUL WORLD TOUR Comes to San Francisco in December

Round Room Live and Moonbug Entertainment has announced that a new live show, Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour, will again bring the vivacious, energetic, and educational antics of global sensation Blippi to stages across North America, with a stop at San Francisco’s Curran Theater (445 Geary St.) on Friday, December 1 at 6 p.m.  

GUMIHO: A Free Staged Reading Announced At Theatre Rhinoceros, June 13

If you have been waiting your whole life for the arrival of Asian American lesbian/queer horror theatre, playwright Nina Ki is here with complexly flawed characters and razor-sharp dialogue ablaze. Ki, a self-described “Queerean” (Queer + Korean) playwright who uses xe/she/they pronouns, is one of the most exciting and important new voices in modern playwriting amid a bloom of spotlighted, Asian American-targeted content for the stage.

From This Author - Steve Murray

Steve Murray is a writer for Cabaret Scenes magazine, contributor to ForAllEvents and now BroadwayWorld. He started writing rock reviews for his college newspaper in the 1970’s, produced a varie... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# The Beat Goes On
Transcendence Theatre Company (6/16-7/02)
#repshow# in[i]# Ball Biddies
Phoenix Theater (6/13-6/13)
#repshow# in[i]# Tosca
Cinnabar Theater (6/09-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# In the Heights
Center Repertory Company (5/27-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# The Evolution of Hip Hop Dance
The American Theater Company (1/01-12/31)
#repshow# in[i]# "Citizen Brain"
The Marsh Berkeley (6/10-7/29)
#repshow# in[i]# She Loves Me
Gateway Theater (6/10-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Axle Surgeons of California, Inc.
Axle Surgeons of California & Northern California - Axle Doctor (5/26-12/31)
#repshow# in[i]# Chinglish
San Francisco Playhouse (5/04-6/10)

Recommended For You