Theater Info for the Washington DC region

A Christmas Carol by the Port Tobacco Players

By • Nov 24th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of A Christmas Carol, performed by the Port Tobacco Players [MP3 2:57 2.7MB].

Mike: Last weekend I saw A Christmas Carol, performed by the Port Tobacco Players in La Plata, Maryland.

A Christmas Carol is the traditional story written by Charles Dickens. This version was adapted by the director, David Bayles. The basic story, is Ebenezer Scrooge, is a miser who wants to do nothing with Christmas, and he makes it pretty miserable. On Christmas Eve he is visited by a series of ghosts, who show him the past, present, and future, if he doesn’t change his life. So of course he has to decide does he want to change his life or not?

This was a good show. It was about ninety minutes long, with one intermission. It has a lot of kids in it, and the pacing of the show moves along pretty well.

The main character was Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Rick Wathen. He did a pretty good job. He was definitely very crotchety, and he had a hint of joy about him, which was a bit different, but I think that is what was called for. He had a child inside him, and that was one of the goals that the director said he was shooting for with this show. Ebenezer Scrooge wasn’t quite as mean as I’ve seen other Scrooges. But he wasn’t cuddly, and he wasn’t cute.

There was a scene early on when he talks with his nephew Fred. That was an awkward scene because Fred was trying to be nice, and Bob Cratchit is sitting there trying to do his work and not saying a word because he doesn’t want to get in trouble. They did that scene really well.

The performance I saw was a near final dress rehearsal. The set was 99% done, there were a few set touches they were still putting up. But basically it was a final show. Some of the dancing though wasn’t quite right. I think the performers were still kind of learning how to dance, since you don’t dance that way now.

But it was definitely fun. The people in the party scenes, such as at Fred’s house, they did a really good job with making you think they’re having a good time, and they’re about to eat a giant turkey that they brought out.

One thing I really liked this performance was the special effects were pretty good. I wasn’t expecting some of the special effects that happened. I’m not going to give that away. But it was more than just lighting and sound. They actually had real special effects for some of the scenes.

Also I really liked the light design of A Christmas Carol. There were definite things happening with the lights. And it wasn’t just real subtle things. It was very obvious where parts of the set would actually go dark, and things would happen in the dark. They did that really well.

There are five different versions of A Christmas Carol playing around the DC area this Christmas Season. So if you are in Maryland, you’ve got one right near you at La Plata, with the Port Tobacco Players. It opens this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which is a wonderful treat since most places are dark over Thanksgiving week. Go ahead and support the Port Tobacco Players.

And now, on with the show.

Photo Gallery

Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit The Cratchit Family
Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit
The Cratchit Family
Ebeneezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit
Ebeneezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit

Photos provided by the Port Tobacco Players.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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