Monday, December 17, 2012
"A CHRISTMAS CAROL" SAILS INTO HARTFORD STAGE ON GHOST WINGS
The Grinch is a green meanie who hates Christmas, much in the tradition of a present day Scrooge. Each of them in their own way have hearts that are too hard and too small to allow any joy to enter and thrive. But lessons can be learned and changes can be transforming. Even Ebenezer Scrooge, the original curmudgeon, can become lovable.
If seeing is believing, then head over to the Hartford Stage for the fifteenth anniversary production of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas" directed by Maxwell Williams until Saturday, December 29.
Once again the inimitable Bill Raymond will portray the miserly man who hates everything festive and merry that makes Christmas so wonderful. On this particular Christmas Eve, the steely-minded Scrooge has an unlikely visitor: the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley (Noble Shropshire) who has been gone lo these seven years.
The two men ran an accounting house and worshipped money more than men, the almighty dollar mattering more than humanity. Marley warns Scrooge that he can yet avert his own terrible fate, but only if he repents, changes, mends his skinflint ways. To that end, he will be visited by three spirits tonight, ghosts who dramatically resemble a trio of creditors who owe him money in life: Bettye Pidgeon, a doll vendor (Johanna Morrison), Bert, a fruit and cider vendor (Alan Rust) and Mr. Marvel, a watchworks seller (Michael Preston). The Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future remind Scrooge of who he was, is and is destined to become and urge him to seek redemption. They appear Christmas Eve when the clock strikes one o'clock, two and three. When Scrooge awakes and realizes it is truly Christmas Day, he is now benevolent and filled with gratitude.
The ones who clearly benefit from his largesse are his housekeeper Mrs. Dilber (Noble Shropshire), his humble employee Bob Crachit (Robert Hannon Davis) and his son Tiny Tim ( Ethan Pancoast and Fred Thornley IV) and his nephew Fred (Curtis Billings). Because of the preponderance of ghosts this story is not appropriate for very young children, under the age of nine.
For tickets ($26.50-93.50), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m, with matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday and selected weekdays and Saturdays. Call for special events for the whole family.
Let two hundred pounds of artificial snow bring sparkle to your holiday celebrations as the magic of Scrooge's transformation from naughty to nice captures your heart.