On Some Christmas Carols

While there are far too many movie versions of “Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol” (that’s now the official full title), one doesn’t mind a proliferation of new interpretations in the theatre. The theatre, after all, is supposed to be about magic — and frankly, I am greatly disappointed every time I DON’T see ghosts, time travel and levitation on stage. One of my very first theatre jobs was as a production assistant on Trinity Rep’s annual production, where my role was to hoist the ghost of Jacob Marley into the air on a pulley. (My cohort was Michael Sexton, who now runs The Shakespeare Society, and is the brother of Lucy Sexton of Dancenoise). At any rate, I have a soft spot for this swayback old sleigh horse. So here are, as the lisping seamstress said to the composer, some variations on a theme:

Heavily engrossed in my own pseudo-Victorian Christmas thingy (Jack the Ripper’s Holiday Spectacular), I was too busy to attend a reading of a new musical version directed by Tom Berger (assisted by Patrice Miller). I just got done working with these kids on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and they’re no slouches, so I strongly suspect it was worth checking out. The music was written by Michael Tilford and book and lyrics by Marc Goldsmith. The reading was this past Monday at White Plains Performing Arts Center. But it’s over and done with, so let’s just call this a visit from THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST.

As for CHRISTMAS PRESENT, tonight you might want to check out Naked Girls Reading A Christmas Carol. And when I say “check out”, I mean “check out”! This is part of a series of nude readings presented by the Pinchbottom Burlesque folks. Starring Nasty Canasta as Scrooge, the cast also features Little Brooklyn, Plume de Lune and Sapphire Jones. If these girls are smart, they’ll make sure there is no mistletoe to be found on the premises. Hubba-hubba-humbug! For full info and tickets go here.

Also opening tonight but playing through Sunday (thus qualifying it for CHRISTMAS YET TO COME is Theater for the New City’s version, Produced, Directed, Designed, Adapted by and Starring David “Zen” Mansley, and featuring an all star TNC cast including Crystal Field herself (and her granddaugher Brianna as Tiny Tim), Marc Marcante, Bob Homeyer, Lissa Moira, and our old friend and frequent collaborator Audrey Crabtree. The photos on their web site look amazing–I’m looking forward very much to catching this one indeed. For full info and tickets go here.

Happy Christmas! (This being the first of a few posts on the subject over the next nine days)

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