by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for something special to do this Christmas, I highly recommend the one man show of A Christmas Carol, performed by Chris Mangels, now on stage at the Enchanted Playhouse in Visalia. It’s an awesome and fairly inexpensive night out at the theatre that the entire family can enjoy. At the end of this article will be instructions on how you can enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets!
I first saw this show in 2007 and have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I found out it was a one man show, but I was completely blown away then and yet again when I got to see it this past weekend with my kids—who are teenagers and even they loved it. Chris Mangels does an incredible job with A Christmas Carol, which happens to be a favorite story of mine and as much a part of my holiday season as putting up the Christmas tree.
Anyone who is any kind of a fan of the story at all has his or her favorite version to enjoy over and over each holiday season, stated Playhouse board of directors president Donald Williams in a recent press release. “And, true fans may remember a one-man version of A Christmas Carol performed in the mid 1990’s by Patrick Stewart aka Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek the Next Generation fame. While we do not have Patrick Stewart to grace our stage at the Enchanted Playhouse, we do have College of the Sequoias drama instructor and talented community actor Chris Mangels who will be assuming this one man role and bringing us Ebenezer Scrooge in a truly unique evening of theatre sure to appeal to any fan of the story.”
Chris directed the full cast version of the show several years ago and in 2007 was asked to do so again but time was running short for auditions and casting of such a large show, shared Karen Kirkpatrick, co-director of Christmas Carol. So they began discussing the possibility of doing it as a one man show. “The only concern being that he had to adapt the show himself to script, and then memorize all 35 pages of dialogue himself!
“Chris expertly moves from one character to the next, with the narrator sprinkled in along the way, using a very unique voice for each character,” continued Karen.
Throughout the show, Chris only changes costumes once, from street/business attire to a dressing gown and slippers as Scrooge. However, he changes his voice and body attitude with each character, doing a brilliant job, never once leaving you confused as to who is speaking. The sets are simple yet sufficient, and the use of lighting is used very effectively to indicate scene and mood changes.
“At the risk of sounding self-promoting, I would like to say that this may be the finest piece of theatre you may see (not only here, but anywhere),” said Karen. “We are very privileged to have a talent like Chris Mangels. This gift he is giving our community this Christmas should definitely be seen. Families who see this together will be enriched and most definitely entertained by it. Very small children may be frightened at one or two scenes . . . we must remember that this IS a ghost story.”
This is a wonderful show that can truly be enjoyed as a family, which makes it such a perfect choice this holiday season. And if you have never seen any production or movie of A Christmas Carol then what are you waiting for? It is truly a timeless story of redemption and what it really means to enjoy the “spirit” of the season.
Remaining performances of A Christmas Carol are December 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m., and December 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door or $7 when purchased in advance and can be obtained at all of their regular outlets or can be purchased online by visiting their
website. Group rates and gift cards are also available. You can contact Enchanted Playhouse at (559) 739-4600 for more information.
Enter to win a pair of tickets!
If you would like to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets for A Christmas Carol at the Enchanted Playhouse, simply post a comment after this article, or email KRL at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Carol. You will then be entered in a drawing for a pair of tickets for either December 17 or 18, 2010. The winner will be drawn and notified this weekend.
You can also learn more about the Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company by reading the article in KRL.