Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Providence Players’ A Christmas Carol

By • Dec 17th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Providence Players’ production of A Christmas Carol [MP3 4:58 1.4MB].

Laura: Friday evening we saw the opening night performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol performed by the Providence Players in Falls Church, Virginia.

Mike: A Christmas Carol is written by Charles Dickens. This version was adapted by Michael Paller. The basic story is of Ebeneezer Scrooge who is not too happy a guy about Christmas intruding on his life. So he takes out his anger on everybody around him. His dead partner Jacob Marley comes to visit and tells him some ghosts are going to come haunt him for the evening so he can learn the error of his ways.

Mike: The twist in this adaptation is it takes place in the home of Charles Dickens on Christmas Eve 1843. He decides not to do any work on Christmas Eve. Instead he tells a story. But all the other guests in his home have to play a part in the story.

Mike: As a disclaimer, The Providence Players is the group that Laura and I are members of. I was in the fall play, The Time of Your Life. So we knew all of the adult actors that were on the stage as well as a lot of the crew. The other disclaimer was we arrived at the theater about fifteen minutes late so we missed the first fifteen minutes of the show which was a mistake on our part. The show opens at 7:30 PM.

Laura: Even though this is the fourth Christmas Carol we have seen and reviewed this season, each production has a slightly different twist to it. All of them are really interesting. Even though the plot line is basically the same, I really enjoyed this show because it doesn’t get tiring. I like to watch to see how each group does the costumes, the makeup and everything. I thought this was a really enjoyable show.

Mike: I did enjoy the performance. I especially liked the makeup that was done on the different performers. When Jacob Marley came out, I was not quite sure who the actor was. I thought I knew who it was, but until the light hit him at a certain profile, I didn’t realize that Jacob Marley was being played by Matt Ames. That was a really nice job for the makeup on that scene.

Laura: The roles of Charles Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge were played by David Whitehead. He gave a strong performance. His makeup was really well done. It allowed him to go through a change during the performance. In the beginning he played the old cranky miser very well. When the children came in to sing Christmas carols to him he raised his cane to them and chased them out. Then you saw the change in him at the end of the show when he was dancing around, jumping up on the chest when he realized he had been given a second chance. I really enjoyed watching him change.

Mike: All of the actors were playing multiple roles. Unfortunately that did confuse me a couple times. They would come on stage as a different person, even though they were wearing the same costume. So although they were playing multiple roles, I think they did a good job in those roles. For example, I liked Larry Craven’s portrayal of Bob Crachit. The scene where he had to come in and break down over visiting Tiny Tim’s grave side was really quite touching.

Mike: I also liked Tina Thronson as Mrs. Crachit and then earlier the Ghost of Christmas Past. I think she did a nice job flitting around the stage and dragging Ebeneezer Scrooge around the stage to see his past.

Laura: I liked the set designed by Patrick David and John Coscia. The way it was built the walls were not at right angles. This allowed for many hidden entrances that were used primarily by the different ghosts. Props were brought on and off, but the walls themselves did not move.

Mike: The lights and the sound effects added to the show’s quality. The lights were not distracting. There were a lot of different changes in the lights from bright, full room lighting all the way up through special green and purple lights on the different ghosts. I really liked that.

Mike: One special effect that was not over done was the amplification of the voices of the ghosts. Jacob Marley was especially scary with his voice being amplified and echoed throughout the room.

Laura: A Christmas Carol is playing Sunday the 17th at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, Thursday, Friday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday the 23rd at 2 PM and 7:30 PM at the James Lee Community Center Theater in Falls Church Virginia.

Mike: We do encourage you to go see this show. It is A Christmas Carol. It’s one of the last ones playing in the area. I think you’ll enjoy yourself.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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