Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School The Lamplighter

By • Dec 14th, 2010 • Category: Cappies

Christmas brings joy to everyone’s hearts- except for Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge. A lonely and greedy miser, Scrooge spends his Christmas in solitary confinement, ba-humbugging to all the cheer he sees. But just because Scrooge is cranky doesn’t mean the audience won’t be filled with the joy of Christmas by the creative musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol entitled The Lamplighter, performed this weekend at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School.

A Christmas Carol, a holiday classic written by iconic writer Charles Dickens, tells an intertwined story of Christmases past, present, and future. Scrooge is visited by three spirits who force him to relive his painful past, analyze his bleak present, and strike fear in him about what is to come if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is most moved by the plight of his employee Bob Cratchit and his loving family. Cratchit’s youngest son, Tiny Tim, who is sick but grateful for all he has, warms Scrooge’s heart and makes him reconsider his attitude about Christmas. A Christmas Carol is a very traditional work that is especially popular at Christmas time. There have been many adaptations made of it, most recently including a 3-D film version by Disney starring Jim Carrey.

Bishop O’Connell created an adaptation of their own by adding an Irish Storyteller (The Lamplighter) to narrate the story, as well as traditional English carols sung by a strong company chorus. The ensemble displayed creativity in their performance and showed strong effort.

As the classic character Scrooge, Kevin Lauerman utilized good stage presence and developed his character throughout the show. Matthew Gillick was charming and sweet as Bob Crachit, adding humor and great physicalities to his character. Gillick especially won over the audience with his sweet paternal care of the young Tiny Tim.

There were shining vocal moments throughout the show, especially in the number “Money Reflections,” performed by Lauerman as present Scrooge and Dylan Vorbach as Young Scrooge. Another vocal star was Kimberly Zarnick as The Ghost of Christmas Past. Zarnick’s beautiful soprano was especially moving in “O Holy Night.”

Creative stage design was utilized throughout the show, with every inch of the stage being used effectively. Especially impressive was the backdrop of trees which made the back of the stage look like a true winter forest. Costumes were vibrant and of a professional level, greatly adding to the show’s visual appeal. Strong lighting was another technical highlight, especially when creating shadows in the streets of London.

Adapting a classic is definitely a difficult task, but the cast and crew at Bishop O’Connell performed The Lamplighter with admirable composure.

by Megan Dumond of West Springfield High School

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