McLean Community Players A Christmas Carol, The MusicalBy Laura & Mike Clark • Dec 16th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
McLean Community Players
Alden Theater, McLean, VA
$19/$17 Students, Seniors
Through Dec. 20th
A Christmas Carol, The Musical, is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens. Based on the story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, The Musical, is a musical version of the classic Christmas tale of grumbly old Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas eve visit by three spirits in hopes to change his outlook on life.
McLean Community Players have provided audiences with a very enjoyable interpretation of A Christmas Carol, The Musical. Even though the story is basically the same, the interpretations of specific scenes were different. It contained a huge cast with doubling of some roles. The stage was large that allowed for people to spread out and fill up the stage nicely. The dancing may not have been together, but the dancers appeared to be having fun gliding across the stage.
Brent Stone played the unlovable Ebenezer Scrooge. Stone’s youthful Scrooge appears to be nervous and put upon for most of the musical. While he was with the Ghost of Christmas Past, he was enjoying himself cautiously. Stone allowed Scrooge to slowly grow into a more loving person, using facial expressions and body language to convey the turmoil Scrooge was having to reconcile.
One actor who gave a believable performance was the Ghost of Christmas Past played by Robyn Martinez. Martinez wore a flowing costume and glided elegantly around the stage. She portrayed a good sense of humor and she and Stone had great timing that made the scene comical, but not sappy.
David Rampy also gave a jolly performance as The Ghost of Christmas Present. His song and dance number “Abundance and Charity” to end the first act was humorous and a very different interpretation of the role (think Dancing Girls). Another difference from a more traditional retelling of this story is we don’t get to see Scrooge waking on Christmas morning. Instead we first see him on the street in front of his house accosting a child passing by. Director Barbara Carpenter‘s vision of a non-traditional telling of the traditional story helped keep the production interesting even to those who have seen A Christmas Carol several times.
Another actor who gave a strong performance was Tiny Tim’s father Bob Crachit, played by Bill Walker. His love for Tiny Tim was evident in his actions towards the boy. When Tiny Tim died, Bob took flowers to his grave and the heartache he had for his son was evident on his face as he wept over the grave.
There were some sound problems with the show that caused some distraction. The microphones were not always turned on or off in the right places. The period costumes were pretty authentic. The Costume Designers was Beth Robertson, who made some interesting choices in the costumes. For example, The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Be (Paige Farrington-Himes) was in a brown monk’s robes in place of the traditional black outfit, favoring Death.
Set pieces for A Christmas Carol, The Musical, were on rollers, or were lowered into place with the Alden Theater’s fly system. There was also a scrim that was used to denote location via a projection. The sets were changed fairly smoothly; the stage crew moved quickly.
A Christmas Carol, the Musical, ran just over two hours with one fifteen minute intermission. It is playing through December 20th. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8, and a Saturday matinee at 2pm, at the Alden Theatre in McLean, Virginia. The performance we attended was nearly sold out, so get your tickets soon for this Christmas musical tradition.
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And now, on with the show.
Photos by Traci J. Brooks
- Carolers: Roberta Chaves, Susan-Lisa Gvinter, Thomas Harton, Paul Neiswnder, Andrew Rampy, Janice Zucker
- Beadle: Bob Chaves
- Charity Men: Brian Lingenflter, Gordon Keifer, Paul Neiswander
- Charwomen: Anne Kanter, Angelena LeBlanc
- Mr. Smythe: Kevin McCormick
- Grace Smythe: Isabelle Lavin
- Ebenezer Scrooge: Brent Stone
- Bob Crachit: Bill Walker
- Old Joe: Joseph LeBlanc
- Sandwich Board Man/Ghost of Christmas Present: David Rampy
- Pantomime Girls: Savannah Britt, Kathleen Walter
- Lamplighter/Ghost of Christmas Past: Robyn Martinez
- Blind Woman/Ghost of Christmas Yet To Be: Paige Farrington-Himes
- Martha Crachit: Mitchie Perry
- Mrs Crachit: Angie Fallin Totten
- Peter Crachit: Thomas Wilson
- Tiny Tim: Sophia Houdaigui
- Poulterer: Lida Eisel
- Fred Anderson: Karl Meier
- Jonathan: Alex Stone
- Mrs. Mops: Marsha Tatum
- Marley’s Ghost: Gene Bates
- Marley Acolytes: Kathleen Alvania, Kate Meier, Laura Scheir, Erin Steenson
- Judge: Kevin McCormick
- Scrooge at 8: Elijah Clark
- Fan at 6: Mia Uitz
- Scrooge’s Father: Bob Chaves
- Scrooge’s mother: Susan-Lisa Gvinter
- Mr. Hawkins: Gordon Kiefer
- Boys Home Matron: Roberta Chaves
- Scrooge at 14: Brentan Walter
- Fan: Mary Watson
- Mr. Fezziwig: Joseph LeBlanc
- Young Scrooge: Thomas Harton
- Young Marley: Andrew Rampy
- Emily: Stephanie Pencek
- Mrs. Fezziwig: Janice Zucker
- Grannies: Anne Kanter, Angelena LeBlanc
- Abundance and Charity Elves: Savannah Britt, Linda Eisel, Thomas Harton, Angelena LeBlanc, Kate Meier, Stephanie Pencek, Andre Rampy, Laura Schier, Kathleen Walter, Mary Watson
- Sally Anderson: Kate Meier
- Susan Anderson: Sydney Kirwan
- Undertakers: Anne Kanter, Angelena LeBlanc
- Director: Barbara D. Carpenter
- Producer: Linda Stone
- Technical Director: Bob Zeigler
- Stage Managers: Matthew Beyers, Shayne Gardner, Doug Yriart
- Costume Design: Beth Robertson
- Sound and Lighting Designer: Bob Zeigler
- Co-Choreographers: Kathleen McCormack & Pamela McCormack
- Set Designer: Bill Klickbarg
- Assistant Set Designer: Dick LaPorte
- Music Director: Beth Atkins
- Conductor: Cheryl Price
- Props: Terry Yates, Kathy Farnsworth
- Make-up and Hair Design: Tosia Shall
- Make-up Team: Lynn Kleyla and Barbara Sprull
- Artist: Laura Shaves
- Set Dressing: Terry Yates
- Stage Crew: Annie O’Neill, Nick Stone
- Publicity: Mike Scott, Peggy Morrison
- Opening Night Reception: Tula Pendergast, Bunny Bonnes
- Photographer: Traci J. Brooks
- Light Board: Wendy Granat Humphries
- Sound Board: Zack Sanders
- Set Construction/Painting: Cathy & George Farnsworth, Bill Klickbarg, Pia Irwin, Herb Rothenberg, Mike Scott, Bob Zeigler
- Scenic Artists: Dick LaPorte, Dinnie Whitson
- House Manager: Columba Brumby
- Webmaster, Playbill: George Farnsworth
- Violin: Anna Kong
- Cello: Alex Rice
- Bass: Evan Cannon
- Flute: Katie Rice, Diana Chau
- Oboe/English Horn: Amy Fitzgerald
- Trombone: Dan Price
- Tuba: Adam Carpenter
- Horn: Sarah Smith
- Percussion/drums: Arthur Garrison
- Keyboard: Gary Fitzgerald
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Laura & Mike Clark 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.