by Lorie Lewis Ham
A Christmas Carol has been one of my all time favorite stories for as long as I can remember and I have seen many versions of it, including the Patrick Stewart one, and local actor/director Chris Mangels one man show version (3 times now I think at least). So when I saw that it was on the schedule for the Good Company Players season at 2nd Space in Fresno, well of course I was going to go.
For anyone out there who may never have seen A Christmas Carol (and if you haven’t what are you waiting for?) the basic story is about a stingy, mean old man named Scrooge, who during the course of one night, is visited by three spirits-the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas yet to come-and by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley. Their goal is to get Scrooge to change his ways–and this is his final chance to do so.
This version of the play was adapted by Romulus Linney and is a version that I had never seen before. It is a much shorter and condensed version than any I have seen in the past, lasting a bit less than 90 minutes even with intermission. Personally, I prefer the longer version, but any version is well worth seeing because it is such a wonderful story.
Cast includes some familiar faces to Good Company Players audiences-Noel Adams as Scrooge, who I saw earlier this year in Witness For the Prosecution; Alex Vaux as Bob Cratchit, who I have enjoyed seeing in numerous productions; Daniel Sutherland as the Ghost of Christmas Past, who I most recently saw in Damn Yankees; and Benjamin Geddert as Scrooge’s nephew Fred, who I most recently saw in Stage Door. Other familiar faces include Bryan Beckstrand as Marley, Hannah Awbrey as a Fezziwig daughter and Lucy, and Tony Folmer as Topper. New faces to me included Vinny Folmer, who was an absolutely adorable Tiny Tim!
Everyone did a good job, and I will always recommend to anyone to go see any version of A Christmas Carol that you can. Christmas season just isn’t complete without it!
A Christmas Carol continues on the 2nd Space stage at 928 E. Olive Avenue in Fresno until December 23. Tickets can be purchased on their website and by calling their box office at 559-266-0660 or 800-371-4747.
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