Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Vpstart Crow A Christmas Carol

By • Dec 5th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
A Christmas Carol
Vpstart Crow
Cramer Center, Manassas, VA
$20/$15 seniors and students/$10 Children under 12
Through Dec. 21st

This is the Show Biz Radio review of A Christmas Carol, performed by Vpstart Crow in Manassas, Virginia. I saw the preview performance on Thursday evening, December 4, 2008.

This play was adapted by Steve Cramer from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Join Scrooge on his journey with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Revel in his discovery of the true meaning of the season.

This was a nice way to begin the Christmas holiday season. The story was pretty traditional. There were some subtle differences that made that made this production unique. Before the performance began several carolers sang a few Christmas carols to get the audience in the holiday mood. When the show began, the author Charles Dickens, played by Faqir Qargah, started with the opening monologue that Jacob Marley was dead. The action then moved to the middle of a modern telling of the story. Each actor was in modern dress. Scrooge walked in in London attire and scared all the kids off. The adults went off to change into their English attire and the play moved on.

This was a large cast of 22 playing 40 some roles. There were a few line stumblings. A few times the lines seemed a bit rushed which made the actors hard to understand. But all in all this was a traditional Christmas favorite that was performed nicely.

Matthew Randall, playing Ebenezer Scrooge, did a nice job of making the character seem real, and really unlikable for most of the play. His countenance, demeanor, and body language all seemed to communicate his miserly outlook on life. All of that changed at the end of the play. He became a new and much more agreeable person when he realized he had been given a second chance. Randall then brought a youthfulness and lightness to the part that made him funny and likable.

Alexia Poe also gave a nice performance. As the Ghost of Christmas Present she had kind of a jolly disposition and took all of Scrooge’s grumblings in stride, even at times using his words to imply a point.

The stage was well balanced, with each area of the stage used adequately. The only time the stage seemed a bit cramped was during the party scene near the end of the play. There was a dance number that seemed a bit tight, but later everyone kind of spread out and people had room on the stage to move around. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’s entrance and exit was creative. There was also a creative use of staging when Scrooge was talking to a child about getting the big turkey to send to Bob Crachitt. That scene had younger audience members muttering to themselves. The set was designed by the show’s director, Cory Eskridge Okouchi. The costumes were also simple, but tasteful. For the poor they were the browns and dark colors. For the more well to do, they were more colorful, which was especially noticeable during the party scenes. The Costume Coordinators were Ray Bracken and Carla Okouchi.

A Christmas Carol officially opens on Friday the 5th and runs through December 21. Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 3 pm at the Cramer Center in Manassas, Virginia. There will be a talk back with the cast and crew after the matinee on December 7th.

Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment here on our website at Show Biz We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.


  • Ebeneezer Scrooge: Matthew Randall
  • Younge Scrooge/Destitute Husband: Ray Bracken
  • Young Belle/Elizabeth/Destitute Wife/Librarian: Carla Okouchi
  • Bob Crachitt: Rich Prien
  • Mrs. Cratchitt/Mr. Dilber: Laura Fischer
  • Marley/Old Joe/Miner 2/Old Dick Wilkins/Poulterer: Brett Bartosavage
  • Christmas Present/Gentlewoman/Mistress Higgins: Alexia Poe
  • Christmas Past/Martha Crachitt: Sarah Schiener
  • Charwoman/Irishwoman: Julie Cameron
  • Fred/Ben Scrooge/Undertake: Ryan McFadden
  • Dickens: Faqir Qargah
  • Mr. Fezziwig/Gentleman/Miner 1: Michael Schaaf
  • Peter Crachitt/Teache/Young Dick Wilkins/Thomas Hatch: Wesley Allen
  • Old Belle/Mrs. Fezziwig: Faye Higdon
  • Turkey Boy: Adam Baillie
  • Little Fan: Nicolette Smith
  • Boy Scrooge: Jamie Smith
  • Tiny Tim: Kai Amado
  • Belinda Crachitt: Mia Amado
  • Jane: Alexandra “Ali” Amado
  • Sarah: Berith Austin
  • Christmas Yet to Come: Darrell Poe


  • Artistic Director: Paul D. Rubenstein
  • Artistic Director: Bob Smith
  • Managing Director: Ray Bracken
  • Education Director: Clemente Santiago III
  • Producer: Ray Bracken
  • Director: Cory Eskridge Okouchi
  • Set Designer: Cory Okouchi
  • Light Designer: Steve Cramer
  • Properties Coordinator: Mary Histings
  • Costume Coordinator: Ray Bracken, Carla Okouchi
  • Stage Manager: Colleen Stock
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Liz Stock
  • Set Construction: The Cast and Crew
  • Set Painting: Leslie Rizer
  • House Manager: Ray Bracken
  • Publicity: Cory Okouchi
  • Poster Designer: Brett Zinger
  • Program Designer: Bob Smith
  • Press Photos: Manoel Amado
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