Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Christmas Carol starring Patrick Earl

Patrick Earl as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Michael Bailey.
OK, first of all, I really enjoy Dickens' A Christmas Carol and I really enjoy the staged version at the ASC. I do not especially like attending the shows though because it is not the typical Blackfriars audience. Very rarely do you see any regulars in attendance and there are always a lot of children and people unfamiliar with the style and etiquette of the Blackfriars. I was not going to attend this year, but I decided I would because I wanted to see how Patrick Earl's Scrooge would differ from the three previous ones (Keegan, Harrell, Thornton, Jr.). Earl, who always delivers, quite capably lives up to the performances of his predecessors, and the fact that he is significantly younger than the typical Scrooge never comes into play. He's not the meanest Scrooge I've ever seen, but he perhaps makes the most joyful transition to a being in possession of human kindness with a philanthropic bent of the performances I've seen at the ASC.

Patrick Midgley does a masterful job spinning the play's yarn as The Narrator (and gives the ladies something to smile about in the pre-show). Rick Blunt makes Scrooge's nephew Fred a more boisterous, gregarious character, a good trait for the "in the holiday spirit" Fred. Andrew Goldwasser has the audience's sympathy as the overworked, underpaid Bob Cratchit. Russell Daniels is hilarious as the Ghost of Christmas Present, as is Joey Ibanez as the Plump Sister, and Emily Joshi-Powell ably plays everybody's favorite Tiny Tim.

If you like A Christmas Carol or just want a bit of holiday cheer, then I'd recommend seeing the ASC's version--get your tickets quick--they are going fast as this show is always in demand.

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