Arts & Culture

‘Carol’ brings Christmas cheer

By
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It may be a little early to bust out the eggnog and twinkle lights, but I’ve been listening to Bing Crosby all evening after the Trinity Repertory Company’s 36th production of “A Christmas Carol” swaddled me with warm and wintery spirits.

The performance, which runs Nov. 10 through Dec. 29, embodies the conventional theatricalities of Charles Dickens’ classic yarn of a holiday humbug in honor of Dickens’ 200th birthday this year. 

“It felt like the appropriate time to honor him in the traditional sense,” said director Tyler Dobrowsky in a video on Trinity Rep’s website.

The play follows a perceived villain, Ebenezer Scrooge (Timothy Crowe), along his path to redemption. At first miserly, vulgar and selfish, he is visited by a series of Christmas ghosts who reveal to him the error of his ways by illustrating the true meaning of Christmas. By morning, he is a changed man. He donates to the poor he once spat at, respects the underlings he once scorned and begins to rebuild connections with his family and friends – finding, ultimately, that it is love and not money that imparts meaning and joy to life.

While the ages of the audience members ranged from grade-school to grandparents, everyone chuckled at the same parts, such as Scrooge’s familiar and slightly insane chortle or an ironic eye-roll of a three-dimensional ghost.

The special effects are particularly compelling. The face of Scrooge’s deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Stephen Thorne), is eerily superimposed upon a giant clock face and later a projection screen. The audience collectively gasped when the actor himself burst out from a trapdoor below stage, warning Scrooge that he too would be rattling in his chains if he continued to reject and exploit his fellow man. Conversely, the joyful patter of children’s feet and the unsullied harmonies of their voices paint an angelic atmosphere in the more nostalgic and idyllic segments of the play. Touches like these lend a colorful and diverse experience to the overall tone of the play, and the audience responded with warmth and fervor.

Poignant touches by the actors and directors add to the themes of purity and wholesome togetherness. The limited cast, with each actor taking on multiple roles throughout the play, evoke a rich sense of family.

“I want to make sure to give (the audience) a lot (of) wonder and magic,” Dobrowsky said. Based on the standing ovation the actors received at the end of their performance, that’s exactly what we got.

 

 

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge as Tyler Crowe. In fact, the actor’s name is Timothy Crowe. The Herald regrets the error.

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