BWW Reviews: Adventure's Premiere of TINY TIM'S CHRISTMAS CAROL Delights

By: Nov. 17, 2014

Ah, the Christmas season is upon us! For the theater and ballet-going public, that means numerous productions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol and probably more than a few Nutcracker offerings to choose from. It can get a bit much, admittedly. At Adventure Theatre MTC, in one single production, one can get the traditional mixed with the new. To that end, its world premiere production of Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol stands out from many of the rest even on paper. Adapted from the Charles Dickens classic by Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig and his son, Jack Ludwig, and directed by one of DC's finest, Jerry Whiddon, this show is a pure delight - and not just for kids.

We meet a healthy Tiny Tim (Chris Dinolfo) five years after that fateful year when Scrooge (Conrad Feininger) had a change of heart. He wants to share with us exactly how that transformation came about. Turns out, he, Scrooge's great niece Charlotte (Brittany Martz), and a few other friends with creative talents (played by Megan Dominy, Phil Reid, and Danny Pushkin) had something to do with creating the circumstances that allowed Scrooge an opportunity to examine his life and what he values. In grand theatrical tradition - and aided by Dan Conway's festive and creative set, Collin Ranney's costumes, and Martha Mountain's lighting, in particular - they create a world that forces Scrooge to expand his myopic view of "money above everything else." The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future are all there, but Tiny Tim and his friends are the ones pulling the strings in more ways than one.

The small ensemble cast achieves what's a bit of a rarity in productions largely geared toward the youngest of theatregoers. Under the skilled hand of Jerry Whiddon, all six actors bring the energy and excitement that's necessary to attract the attention of a young child, but don't deliver over-the-top and campy performances that are devoid of any human quality even in the most comedic moments. This approach is well-suited to the Ludwigs' script. It too provides an endearing story that's accessible to the younger audience members without relying too much on jokes or physical humor to grab their attention. Yet, it is also sophisticated enough that adults can find something to like, be it the underlying message or the way in which Ludwig draws attention to the challenges and joy of creating theatre, or both.

Strong acting certainly abounds. While Feininger has the meatiest of all of the roles - and he captures everything you'd like to find in a strong portrayal of Scrooge - all of the actors are a key ingredient for the success of the production. Martz has this 'young woman that's wise beyond her years' quality that's particularly essential for the role of Charlotte and Dinolfo exudes hope and determination as Tiny Tim. Dominy, Reid and Pushkin's comedy skills are also put to good use.

In this production, all of the elements come together - strong acting, direction, and script, as well as strong production values that enhance the telling of the story. It's one to check out to be sure, even if you're not bringing the kids along.

Running Time: 50 minutes with no intermission.

"Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol" plays at Adventure Theatre MTC at Glen Echo Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd in Glen Echo, MD) through January 1, 2015. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 301-634-2270.

Photo: Conrad Feininger as Scrooge and Phil Reid as the Ghost of Christmas Past (by Bruce Douglas)


World Premieres & More Set for The Washington Ballet 2023-24 Season Photo
World Premieres & More Set for The Washington Ballet 2023-24 Season

The Washington Ballet has announced their 2023-2024 season. The company will present four productions that showcase a diverse range of artistic excellence from classical to contemporary masterworks in addition to two auxiliary performances. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Theater J Reveals Lineup For 2023-24 Season Photo
Theater J Reveals Lineup For 2023-24 Season

Theater J has announced its 2023-2024 season, the first season planned by the theater’s new Artistic Director, Hayley Finn. Featuring world premiere productions, the debut of a solo play series, and an abundance of new works by emerging writers within the American theater landscape, this season builds on Theater J’s legacy as a home for exceptional new work within Washington, DC and throughout the country.

Review: INCENDIARY at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Photo
Review: INCENDIARY at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Let me tell you a bit about myself. Even before the death of George Floyd and the political earthquake that followed, I have long been of the opinion that drastic and systemic changes are needed in the American judicial system. When I covered Gaithersburg city government for the Montgomery Sentinel, I took a knee during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the city council meetings. I do the same when the 'Star Spangled Banner' plays at Washington Nationals games. On the wall above my desk where I'm writing this, I have tacked up the front page of the Washington Post from April 21, 2021, announcing Derek Chauvin's conviction for murder the previous day. I oppose the death penalty. I admire works that effectively explore generational trauma and make use of innovative storytelling techniques, including blending genres. For all these reasons, when I read the description of 'Incendiary,' written by Dave Harris and directed by Monty Cole, which recently opened at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, I expected to like it. I didn't.

Theatre Lab Receives a $44K Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant Photo
Theatre Lab Receives a $44K Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant

The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts is one of 34 organizations nationwide selected to receive a Creative Forces® Community Engagement grant. A grant of $44,000 will support healing and community building through The Theatre Lab’s Life Stories program for individuals connected to the military. Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants are part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Forces® initiative and are in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance.

From This Author - Jennifer Perry

      ... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# Something Rotten!
Bowie Playhouse (5/26-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Jurassic Park in Concert
Wolf Trap (7/22-7/22)
#repshow# in[i]# Dissonance
The Essential Theatre (5/30-6/11)
#repshow# in[i]# Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert | National Symphony Orchestra
Wolf Trap (7/08-7/08)
#repshow# in[i]# Nate the Great
Imagination Stage (6/21-8/11)
#repshow# in[i]# KUMANANA! An Afro-Peruvian Musical Revue
GALA Hispanic Theatre (6/07-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Exclusion
Arena Stage (5/05-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Victorian Lyric Opera Company presents "The Sorcerer"
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre (8/31-9/02)
#repshow# in[i]# Rockville Little Theatre presents "Communicating Doors"
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre (9/22-10/01)
#repshow# in[i]# American Ballet Theatre | Giselle
Wolf Trap (7/27-7/28)

Recommended For You