A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre Review!

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I had the pleasure of attending a great performance of Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville last week!  The theater has come alive with a bright, wintery themed lobby and Dickens’ era characters all around. 

This show is a huge Christmas tradition for me.  I remember growing up how I looked forward to it every year.  It is a beloved story of charity, kindness and redemption to life.  Over the years the scenery, costumes and actors have changed, but the professionalism of the show has always been unwavering. 

This tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey to finding redemption has been on the Actors stage for 38 years!  In the Charles Dickens’ classic, Scrooge, played by the magnificent William McNulty, is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley, played by Marc Bovino.  This part of the show is a little loud and scary.  Strobe lights and fog are used, and Marley carries heavy, loud chains, so just know before you take small children that there are a few parts that can be a little frightening.  Bovino is so convincing as a spirit from the past, and his performance is phenomenal.

Marley warns Scrooge that he will be visited by three ghosts and then the journey begins!  Scrooge first sets off to get a glimpse of his former self with the Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Lindsey Noel Whiting.  Some may remember her as Alice from Lookingglass Alice that was presented at Actors Theatre a few years ago.  She is a tiny ball of energy!  She floats down from the rafters on a “moonbeam” and shows us her acrobatic skills as if she were right out of a Cirque production!  She helps Ebenezer remember past loves and past memories that he begins to have hope for again!

Upon returning to his bedroom and wondering if it was all just a dream, Scrooge is then visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Jermaine Miles.  He is a loud and boisterous character who shows Scrooge how much love and friendship he is missing out on by not being present at family gatherings and not caring more about his employees. He quickly turns older though and becomes a reflection to Scrooge of how grim life can be for those who have little to nothing. 

By this point, Scrooge is convinced he must change his ways, but he is forced to still move forward with the Ghost of Christmas Future.  This however is more of a demon figure, rather than a ghost.  This scene can be a little scary as well, but it isn’t too bad.  There are large black curtains made to look like a larger-than-life demon who towers over Scrooge to show him the demise of his future should he not be able to change his ways.  Anyone can see how important it is for Scrooge to follow through with his new found beliefs!

The Narrator, played by John Preston, is comical and educating as he leads you through the show.  The rest of the cast is equally talented and moving, taking you back in time and bringing out the Christmas spirit in all of us.  The talented children of the cast just melt your heart, and everyone sings beautiful Holiday songs throughout.  As the show comes to a close, the cast gathers around the center of the stage and leaves you with one last Christmas Carol that just makes you want to sing along!  From the snow lightly falling to the twinkling lights, everything about the Pamela Brown Auditorium sends the message of Christmas love home with you!  It is a family tradition you will want to start of your own!

"A Christmas Carol" runs through December 23 in the Pamela Brown Auditorium.  Run Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Tickets start at just $25. This show will sell out so get your tickets now by visiting http://www.actorstheatre.org or calling (502) 584-1205.