Hingham Civic Music Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ is making this year’s classic tale more about the carol.
Told in part through some narration by Brian Jipson as Fred, Hingham Civic Music Theatre approaches ‘A Christmas Carol’ a bit differently through original music progressing the tale such as ‘A Place Called Home,’ ‘Christmas Together,’ and ‘God Bless Us Everyone’ from Academy award-winning composer Michel Legrand and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Sheldon Harnick. What makes Charles Dickens’ classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ so fascinating is its universal message and its ability to be told in many different ways.
‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ first took the stage on Broadway in 1982 and follows greedy and selfish Ebenezer Scrooge as he embarks on a spellbinding, haunting, and heartwarming journey in search of the true meaning of Christmas.
Directed by Ranee Csignay with music direction by Nick Foster, ‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ has two more performances on Saturday, December 13 at the Hingham Town Hall, Sanborn Auditorium on the 2nd floor, 210 Central Street in Hingham, Massachusetts at 7:30 p.m. The final show will be a Sunday matinee on December 14 at 2 p.m. Visit hcmt.org for more information and see the slideshow for a closer look at the production.
Although ‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ does not overwhelm the production with songs, it has a way of encompassing the audience through its music and its careful blocking. Holding white, festively detailed, illuminated lanterns, the warm cast brings the audience into the world of Charles Dickens through Christmas carols such as ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Here We Come A-wassailing’ and ‘Carol of the Belles.’
The set, hand painted by the director, is accented with a lit, wrought iron lamppost, the soft glow of hearth and home in the lit fireplace, and a multilevel stage adorned with functioning, large white windows. The costumes are festive and cheerful, an array of long, colorful coats, ties, vests, and gowns all faithful to the time period.
Director Ranee Csignay takes a dynamic approach to casting in this production. Often cast members effectively play dual roles, bringing forth further insight into Charles Dickens work. Wrapped in chains with a stiff, eerie stature, Frank Mellen delivers the Ghost of Marley and also fits the shoes of Bob Cratchit, the antithesis of Marley, hanging his head low, a sympathetic, soft spoken and unassuming man.
Another dual role is performed beautifully by Julie Peterson Ryan as The Ghost of Christmas Present, dressed ornately in garland and gold trim, a stern, but jolly presence. She also portrays the Solicitor, a humble, but persistent woman, working for charity.
The Ghost of Christmas Past, portrayed with sweetness and grace by Lizzie Quinlivan, is dressed from head to toe in twinkling white in a crown of white roses. Bonnie Garner as The Ghost of Christmas Future haunts with a chilling, silent, bleakness.
Jamie Becker is soft spoken, firm, and serene as Belle, her tender, light vibrato is a highlight as she sings, ‘The Love is Gone.’ Theo Van Joolen is refreshing and amusing as Mr. Fezziwig, his bumbling, bustling stature joyous.
Michael Duarte gives many dimensions to Ebenezer Scrooge, allowing the audience to see not just a miserly curmudgeon. He gives Scrooge, in addition to his disdainful ways, a fidgety quality. He is distinguished and progressively in production, giddy. He possesses a glimmer of his old boss Fezziwig, and it is fascinating to see that parallel. Another highlight is his rich vocals for the original song, ‘Let There Be Time.’
The Cratchit Family performs a heartwarming rendition of the original song, ‘One Family,’ sang entirely a Capella, especially in the chiming, impressive voice of Leah Shiels as Martha. The cast is not always heartwarming, and an amusing scene involving stolen goods proves that, each cast member wearing their scowls well.
Full of joyous, amusing, and stirring messages about love and the human spirit, Hingham Civic Music Theatre presents, ‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’ at the Hingham Town Hall, Sanborn Auditorium on the 2nd floor, 210 Central Street in Hingham, Massachusetts continues on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. One final Sunday matinee will take place on December 14 at 2 p.m.
Hingham Civic Music Theatre will present ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in spring 2015 and Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ next fall as part of their upcoming season!
Click here for tickets, email email@example.com, or visit hcmt.org for more about Hingham Civic Music Theatre!