Tonight I went to a production called "A Tuneful Christmas Carol." It was an adaptation of the classic Dickens tale by a local man of many talents.
This was opening night, so if you are in the area, you have three more chances to see it. Do. It's a little pricey (I think they must have rented the costumes and probably had to rent the Ramsdell Theater since it wasn't produced by the Manistee Civic Players), but it's short (about an hour) and the kids won't get bored. There are lots of kids in the play. Part of the proceeds each night are being donated to local charities.
Anyway, let's talk first about the set. I REALLY liked the set. It took advantage of the fact that you can do multiple levels quite easily there. In this long shot, you can see that Scrooge's office is set down in what would be the orchestra pit. That part of the set just stayed put, no one had to move anything. If the action was in the office your eye was drawn there, if not, you could just ignore it.
Look at the picture above again. See the wall with a door on the right side of the stage? That is where Scrooge lives. The knocker that came to life as Jacob Marley's face is visible on it. Now see what that unit can do.
By just pivoting it around, you can now see into Scrooge's bedroom. He would climb stairs on the back side to enter. Switching from the street view to the interior view took only a few seconds. Very slick.
The only other interior that needed to be clearly defined was the Crachit household. This was accomplished by bringing in the floor of their main room complete with chairs, table, etc, on a scenery wagon. Again... about 2 seconds, different set. Not a great picture, but I wanted to show this piece of scenery.
Charles Dickens appeared as the narrator (a little humor there). You can see him wearing a long brown coat in the first picture. The production was "tuneful" because there were carolers in the streets, giving Scrooge something to complain about regularly.
Scrooge is visited first by Marley's Ghost.
The Spirit of Christmas Past shows Scrooge himself as a boy.
There was a well-done and fairly complex dance scene in this segment as part of the celebration featuring young Scrooge and his fiance. I know this production was rehearsed in just a few weeks. That cast must have worked their tails off to get the dances right.
Of course, the Spirit of Christmas Present takes him to visit the Crachit house and to see Tiny Tim. That scene is above where I talked about the set.
Finally, the Spirit of Christmas Future comes and shows Scrooge that no one will mourn for him.
We all know the ending... Scrooge is a reformed man.
This production is a classic retelling of the story with the addition of music which made it a lot of fun. I know several of the actors, the set designer, and the adapter/director.
Bedtime- have to be at work at 8 am.
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