Last night was the opening night for the premiere of the Charles Dickens beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. It was the evening after Thanksgiving and the festive season has begun in Knoxville. The theatre was beautifully decorated for the holidays and a packed lobby filled with audience members of all ages waited patiently for the doors to open. Once inside, one could not help but feel the excitement of the children as they knew something truly exciting was about to happen. This production has been a long-time Knoxville tradition.
When the actors and actresses took the stage, the audience is immediately transported back to Victorian England. The costumes and make-up are brilliant with impeccable detail. The set design is absolutely amazing with the spiral staircase, windows, props and mechanical wizardry behind the scenes. The backdrop had visuals of an English town, as well as video, digital and sound effects that are exemplary. Throughout the production the audience is treated to holiday music by several extremely talented and gifted musicians.
The infamous grouchy old miser Ebenezer Scrooge (David Kortemeier) is in need of redemption. He puts business first and has no patience for anyone, not even beggars or children. He is pretty harsh to his loyal and underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit (David Brian Alley) who has a large family including a disabled little boy, Tiny Tim (David’s real-life son, Devin Alley). However, things begin to change on Christmas Eve when the ghost of Scrooge’s longtime business partner Jacob Marley (Donald Thorne) pays him a visit. Marley warns Scrooge that three spirits; the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future will visit him showing him his past, other people’s cheerful present and his gloomy, sad future.
There have been many adaptions of A Christmas Carol through the years from stage, screen and television. Each actor that plays Scrooge brings something special to the character. Kortemeier is no different. He brings a bit of humor with a touch of grumpiness and gives a phenomenal performance. The metamorphosis of Scrooge is a lesson in the human spirit and shows how people can change for the better. The show is heartwarming and the entire cast gives stellar performances. This is a must see show for audiences of all ages. The play is directed by Micah-Shane Brewer and the music is directed by Rachel Schlafer-Parton.
The production runs through December 21 with 7:30 pm and 2:00 pm performances. For more information please call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit online at clarencebrowntheatre.com/access.