Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Vpstart Crow’s Christmas Carol Returns to Manassas

By • Dec 4th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Vpstart Crow’s production of A Christmas Carol [MP3 3:54 1.1MB].

Laura: This afternoon we saw Vpstart Crow‘s production of A Christmas Carol in Manassas, Virginia.

Mike: A Christmas Carol is the traditional story written by Charles Dickens. This version was adapted by Stephen J. Kramer. The basic story is of Ebeneezer Scrooge, a miser who wants to do nothing with Christmas. He make it pretty miserable for others. 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 ways. So of course he has to decide: does he want to change his life or not?

Laura: I really liked it. I thought it was a good show. Everybody performed well. A lot of them have worked together in previous Christmas Carols so it was a really comfortable feel with the actors and the audience.

Mike: This was a good show. Vpstart Crow is known for it’s simplistic sets and this is no exception, but they used the space really quite effectively. There was one section of the stage that had a riser that had Scrooge’s bed and the rest of the stage was pretty bare. There was one section on the right that was the Crachit family home. Over on the left was Charles Dickens’ writing table. They carried on chairs, benches, and other props and set pieces as needed. That went really quite smoothly, which was surprising. Usually people are stumbling and trying to remember who grabs what. This didn’t mess up the flow at all.

Laura: I especially liked the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who was played by Tom Pentecost. He played the role very convincingly. He had some really funny facial expressions. I liked the scene with the ghost of Christmas Present. He kept trying to hide from the ghost so it would go away and it never did. He finally got up and did the scene. I thought that scene was really funny and really well done.

Mike: The role of Charles Dickens was played by Cory Eskridge, who also played the role of Jacob Marley. The difference about this Charles Dickens seemed to be that he was a narrator throughout the whole show as opposed to just the opening scene. He would come in and say lines and tell us about what was happening. He wasn’t always there, but he was there when he needed to be. It was really a very effective use of the narrator, Charles Dickens.

Laura: I also liked the costumes very much. The women had the long dresses. The men had the frock coats and the jackets that were some kind of velvety material that did not react harshly to the light shining on it. It absorbed some. I thought that was really nice.

Mike: One of the ongoing feature that Vpstart Crow does with every show is they have a talk back after one of the performances on a Sunday Matinee. That was today so we attended that. We will be bringing that to you later this week. The talk back consists of the cast and crew talking with the audience. The audience gets to ask questions of the cast and crew. It was really a good discussion. It was about 30 minutes long. Everybody seemed to have a good time talking. There were lots of really good questions from the audience. There were a lot of children in the audience tonight. The talkback will be posted on the website later this week.

Also next Sunday December 10th at 6 After A Christmas Carol, there will be a staged reading of Open Me Carefully, a drama in two acts exploring the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson. It’s a part of Upstage, which is VpStart Crow’s ongoing staged reading series, featuring original works from local and regional playwrights. Open Me Carefully is written by Pamela Berthold.

Laura: A Christmas Carol is playing through Sunday, December 17th at the Cramer Center in Manassas Virginia. Sundays at 2 PM and Friday and Saturdays at 8 PM.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

Photo Gallery

Charles Dickens Caroler, Bob Cratchit and Scrooge
Charles Dickens
Caroler, Bob Cratchit and Scrooge
Ebeneezer Scrooge Ebeneezer Scrooge
Ebeneezer Scrooge
Ebeneezer Scrooge
Belle Ghost of Christmas Present
Ghost of Christmas Present
Old Joe and the Charwoman Tiny Tim and Scrooge
Old Joe and the Charwoman
Tiny Tim and Scrooge

Photos provided by Vpstart Crow.

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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.

One Response »

  1. Hi Mike and Laura! Thank you so much again for taking the time to review A Christmas Carol and to record our talkback with the audience! We appreciate your continuing coverage of Vpstart Crow and look forward to seeing you both at future productions! 🙂

    Very best regards,

    Jay Tilley
    Director of Communications
    Vpstart Crow Productions, Inc.