It is that time of year when Christmas carols play nonstop on the radio, the weather turns colder, and theatres begin their shows for the holidays. If there is one show that brings out the holiday spirit of charity and good will in people more than any other, it is A Christmas Carol. The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol is an excellent show, and will fill audiences with an abundance of holiday cheer.
A Christmas Carol is based on the 19th century novella by Charles Dickens. The story is about the bitter Ebenezer Scrooge, and through visits by ghosts, he transforms. By the end of show, Scrooge is full of holiday merriment and cheer. The thing I love about A Christmas Carol is that it brings out nostalgia in people – Dutch Apple’s production transports audiences from a world of hustle and bustle to the world of 19th century London. The set, the lovely costumes, and even the fog that rolls in will transport audiences back to 19th century London and the world of Scrooge.
Robert Summers plays Ebenezer Scrooge, and he is seamlessly cranky in this role. Summers marvelously depicts Scrooge’s transformation, and seeing Summers’s singing and dancing in “Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball” will restore the Christmas spirit in anyone. Kaitlin Doughty portrays the Ghost of Christmas Past, and her actions, look and voice all reminded me of Carol Channing. Doughty is delightful in this part and her song, “The Lights of Long Ago” is strong. The Ghost of Christmas Present is played by Rendell DeBose, and he is full of mirth and merriment. His frequent laughter in this scene is contagious, and you cannot help laughing along with the Ghost of Christmas Present. Diane Huber plays the Ghost of Christmas Future, and the scenes of Christmas Future depict an ominous future for Ebenezer Scrooge. Huber is dynamic and she entertains audiences with her dancing in this scene. Bob Cratchit is portrayed by Christopher Russell and he superbly depicts the heartwarming family man. There are two other actors that stand out in this production: Colleen Gallagher and Christopher Violett. Gallagher plays Emily, the fiancée of young Scrooge, and her duet with Jesse Corbin, “A Place Called Home” is beautiful. Violett plays Fred, Scrooge’s nephew and only living relative; he perfectly depicts a Victorian gentleman. The final song of the show, “Nothing to do with Me/Christmas Together” is a fantastic company number, and will definitely put the spirit of the holidays in the audience‘s hearts.
There is one scene in the show, which I found to be unique to this production of A Christmas Carol, and that is the song “Link by Link.” This is the scene where Scrooge sees Jacob Marley’s ghost, and this part of the show is reminiscent of the influences of Tim Burton. The staging and choreography of this number was an imaginative contrast to the rest of the show, and I enjoyed the uniqueness of this number.
The artistic team needs mentioning because they did a wonderful job transforming the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre into a place reminiscent of Victorian London. Dean Sobon is the director for A Christmas Carol, and Lauren L. Sobon serves as the choreographer. John P. White designed the beautiful costumes. The set designer is Tom Tutino. In addition, A. Scott Williams serves as the Musical Director.
A Christmas Carol is playing at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre through December 23, 2013. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.dutchapple.com or call their box office at 717-898-1900.
Photos courtesy of Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
Final Thought: Go to Dutch Apple and see their outstanding production of A Christmas Carol. It is a reminder of what truly matters at Christmas – family and kindness, and you will leave with a dose of holiday spirit as big as the gargantuan turkey Scrooge buys.
Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she is a contributor for the online sites broadwayworld.com and figlancaster.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.