A Christmas Carol
WHAT: A Christmas Carol
WHEN: 7:30pm Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21
WHERE: Sylvia Center, 205 Prospect St.
WHAT: A Christmas Carol
WHEN: 3pm Sun., Dec. 22
WHERE: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
No matter where the character of Ebenezer Scrooge pops up, the wealthy old grump from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is instantly recognizable as a mirthless skinflint who’s spent most of his life choosing to ignore the needs of those less fortunate than him—that is, until he’s scared into generosity by a trio of ghosts.
How Scrooge gets from Point A (mean, cheap and decidedly non-merry) to Point B (giving, grateful and bursting with joy) can be seen in a couple of different tellings this month in downtown Bellingham. And although the productions are vastly different, chances are good they’ll both end well.
First is iDiOM Theater’s revival of the play starting Thurs., Dec. 5 and continuing weekends through Dec. 21 at the Sylvia Center for the Arts. Last year marked the first time the theater company had presented the adroit adaptation of A Christmas Carol since a successful run in 2005, and anybody who came to see the show can attest it remained a masterful feat of storytelling.
That was thanks in large part to cast members Anna Mostovetsky, Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao, Bennett Williamson, and Sandy Brewer, who will all reprise their roles during this year’s effort. But it should be known that when I say “reprise their roles,” it means they’re playing all of the parts in the play—not to mention swapping characters, helping turn an alley into a stage, and using a dumpster for sinister purposes.
Other than Brewer—who plays an actor prepping for his role as Scrooge before he’s accosted by the trio of thespians outside the stage door—the other three all get a chance to wear Scrooge’s nightcap, use wadded-up napkins as puppets portraying Tiny Tim’s siblings, and bring Dickens’ masterwork to vivid life with both humor and pathos.
The vibe will be a little different when 40-year theater veteran Scott H. Severance enters the stage as Scrooge Sun., Dec. 22 at the Mount Baker Theatre. There, audiences can expect lush costumes, stunning sets, 26 traditional Christmas carols, and a full cast of characters—from the specter of Scrooge’s late business partner Jacob Marley to a real-live Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, townspeople galore, and some of the scariest ghosts this side of a Stephen King novel.
But don’t be fooled into thinking Perseverance Productions’ rendition of Dickens’ story is all show and no tell. The theme of redemption will still take center stage—although with a few more special effects than its predecessor.
At its heart, the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from a miserly old man to a benevolent benefactor is all about having the courage to change. It’s a lesson we should all remember, and watching A Christmas Carol in any form is a good way to do so.
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