Monday, December 1, 2008

A Christmas Carol at the Ohio Theater 28 Nov 2008

As a teacher, patron, and reviewer I have seen at least a third of the twenty different stagings of A Christmas Carol that the Great Lakes Theater Festival has done. It is the Romeo and Juliet of Christmas plays. Everyone knows the characters, everyone knows the conflicts, and everyone knows the ending, but if it is done well those things just don't matter.
The current production now being performed at the Ohio Theater is done well. Very good casting, great costumes and scenery, an added story within a story that allows for some festive holiday singing, all make it an enjoyable night of theater. If you want to be picky, there are some criticisms, for example there is more machine generated smoke than at a Journey concert. But all in all it is another fine production of Dickens' classic.
Direct by Victoria Bussert, the show features long time Great Lakes veteran Aled Davies as Scrooge, and he does a great job with it. Almost stealing the show from Davies is seven-year-old Shannon Kelley who plays Tiny Tim.
A Christmas Carol is often watered down, but this current production keeps loyal to Dickens' original text, including his references to British folk tales and mythology. It's doesn't get too heavy, and the dramatic effects do not get in the way of the story.
The opening night audience was filled with many well-dressed and well-behaved children, enjoying a night out with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
A Christmas Carol will be presented at the Ohio Theater until December 23, including matinees on the weekends. For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call 216.241.6000.

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