by Lorie Lewis Ham
Everyone knows the famous story of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It tells of a greedy old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who hates Christmas and is mean to everyone. Then one night he is visited by three ghosts who change him forever.
An Opera House Christmas Carol tells that story, sort of. It is VERY loosely based on the classic in many ways, but it has music, laughter, and a bit of Reedley History. Mark Norwood, Matt Wiebe, and Daryl Devaurs wrote this Christmas comedy several years ago and it was their very first production at the Opera House.
Instead of Scrooge we have Ebenezer Jansen, played perfectly by Mark Norwood, who also played the part the first time they did the show. Jansen runs the Opera House but no longer cares about the theatre produced there or the arts, he only cares about money. Because of this he is visited by the ghost of his old partner Marley, played by Matt Wiebe, who is also reprising his role from the first production. Marley warns Ebenezer that he will be visited by three ghosts–just like the original story–and that this is his last chance to change. Instead of the Cratchits, we have the Fizzykeg Players-the theatre company working out of the Opera House–but we do still get a Tiny Tim or in this case Tiny Timmy, played by the adorable Sam Applegate in his on stage debut.
The ghosts are actually the Ghosts of the Opera House instead of Christmas, though the show of course has a very Christmas theme. Their job in this version is to remind Ebenezer of the importance of the arts and why the Opera House is important. The Ghost of the Past is played by Makayla Cowin who has a rich, sultry, bluesy voice. The Ghost of the Present is played by Joseph Ham as a mix between a cowboy, a gameshow host, and a preacher–this character is a riot. The Ghost of the Future is played by Joseph’s sister, Jessica Runnels, who is all decked out futuristic looking and even has shiny, silver wings and blue hair. Jessica gets to show off her lovely voice just a bit, and looks downright adorable. The costumes in this show are a lot of fun-kudos to costumer Sarah Wiebe.
If you are looking for something dramatic, you won’t find it here. Instead you’ll find funny songs and lots of reasons to laugh, and a lot of audience participation. It’s a fun, crazy, and at times very sweet show, perfect for your holiday fun! Amongst the funny, there are even a couple of more serious, beautiful songs and you even get some bits of real history about the Opera House.
The show plays through December 21–take the family to this one you won’t regret it! And you get to help support the arts over the holidays! Ticket information can be found on their website and you can also find more details on KRL’s local theatre event page.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.