Now that Thanksgiving is over, the turkey and stuffing and marshmallow sweet potato soufflé just delicious memories, it’s time to turn your attention to the next big holiday on the calendar: December 25. To help you get in the festive mood, there is no better incentive than Hartford Stage’s annual Yuletide tradition: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol A Ghost Story of Christmas” until Friday, December 30.
Lightning, thunder, fog and a gaggle of ghosts welcome you to this haunting tale of one Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who clearly was born without a holly twig of Christmas spirit. Scrooge, delightfully portrayed by a twinkle eyed Bill Raymond. is the original Bah Humbug curmudgeon who finds nothing of favor about this red, green and mistletoe wrapped day.
This Christmas Eve marks seven years since Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley (Noble Shropshire) has died. Marley’s ghost has appeared to warn Scrooge that there is still time to avoid his fate, to redeem himself and choose to enjoy life and mankind. To that end, Marley is sending Scrooge three apparitions at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. The Spirit of Christmas Past (Johanna Morrison) reveals his childhood and shows him all he once had and all he lost. Next the Spirit of Christmas Present (Alan Rust) shows Scrooge all that is within his grasp to enjoy while the Spirit of Christmas Future (Michael Preston) uncovers what will happen if Scrooge does not change his miserly ways.
As the hands of time spin, Scrooge realizes he can change the shadows, give his clerk Bob Cratchit (Robert Hanson Davis) and his crippled son Tiny Tim (Lorenzo Dalton/Ethan Pancoast) a future, reconcile with his nephew Fred (Michael Bakkensen) and reward his housekeeper Mrs. Dilber (Noble Shropshire/Robert Hanson Davis) for her years of loyal service. Maxwell Williams directs this huge cast of talented actors in this marvelous Christmas tale, with lighting effects by Robert Wierzel, costumes by Zack Brown and the role of Scrooge also being played by Gustave Johnson at school morning performances.
For tickets ($24-69), call Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Additional holiday matinees at 2 p.m. are Friday, December 23, Monday, December 26, Tuesday, December 27, Wednesday. December 28 (no evening show) and Friday, December 30. Special events like Santa Saturdays (December 10 and 17), Character Brunches (Sunday, December 11) Family fun Night (Thursday, December 15) and Behind the Magic (Sunday, December 18) are also planned.
Watch this Currier and Ives Christmas card come to life as snowflakes fall and one man’s hard heart melts.