LB Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol: Airy, Ghostly Version

By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer

Cynics would say that Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is done to death every December.

Cynics (including this reviewer) have seen A Christmas Carol so often that, when an actor goes up on his lines we feel the urge to shout out the words for him. We have them engraved on our brains.

But there are plenty of audience members out there who haven’t seen A Christmas Carol fifteen times in four years or so. They are the ones buying the mulled wine to take in with them; they are the ones who clap along with the music at Fezziwig’s Christmas party, who cheer Tiny Tim’s “God bless us, every one.” They laugh in all the right places (and a few wrong places) and generally have a great time that cynics can only admire.

That was the case with A Christmas Carol at the Long Beach Playhouse on opening night. There were a few cynics in the nearly sold-out house, but there were hundreds of others who loved every minute of the Playhouse version of Dickens, a one-act, one-hour-and-ten-minute version that hit all the highlights, used the stage effectively, boasted a fine Scrooge and an effective cast, including a Tiny Tim who was authentically tiny but also spoke her lines with firm conviction (and a loud voice).

Scrooge is always the center of every Christmas Carol, of course, and the conversation after the play is always about how mean Scrooge is. Rick Kopps is the Playhouses’ Scrooge. He looks the part lean and scraggly in a more than slightly worn frock coat. He isn’t as mean as many would like, but part of that is because this version removes much of Scrooge’s opportunity to be mean. Kopps is impressive and articulate. His conversion at the play’s end is affecting and moving.

Tiny Tim is Kruiz Mauga, making her Long Beach Playhouse debut. She doubles as one of the play’s narrators as well as the young Cratchet. She is small, all right, but as effective as many of her taller colleagues. From the moment she walks on stage you have to notice her.

The play is deftly worked around a big bed on the thrust stage, with the cast coming on to start the story and deftly moving the props and sets as needed. Many people play more than one role. Director Sharyn Case uses Andrew Vonderschmitt’s simple sets effectively. This version is supposed to emphasize the ghost story at the center of A Christmas Carol and the final ghost, Christmas Past, is a larger than life three-person puppet which is effectively scary.

Stephen Saatjian is effective as Bob Cratchet. Julian Fernandez is personable and very tolerant as Scrooge’s nephew Fred. Victoria Young plays Mrs. Cratchet, doubles as Mrs. Fezziwig and a couple of other smaller characters. Doug Seagraves is genuinely spooky as Jacob Marley. Dean Figone is a lit-up spirit of Christmas Present and Juliana Perez is an attractive Ghost of Christmas Past.

This A Christmas Carol isn’t the most spectacular, or the most scenic, but it is a fine evening at the theater for those who aren’t cynical and for those who want to introduce their children to what is — even to cynics — an important part of the Christmas season.

Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors and $14 for students. Performances are at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 22.

Details: (562) 494-1014www.lbplayhouse.org
Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater
Location:5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Like Us On Facebook!

  • Official RLn Twitter


  • The Guide to Fine Dining

    The Guide to Fine Dining
  • Calendar

    July 2015
    S M T W T F S
    28

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySeal Day 2015

    Category: CommunitySummer Concerts by the Sea

    Category: ArtIn the Garden, Art & Music Fair

    Category: CommunitySenior Comedy Afternoons

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: EntertainmentSummer Concert Series

    Category: EntertainmentA Salute to Santana

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    29

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    30

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    1

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySan Pedro Kiwanis Club

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    2

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityFarmer’s Market

    Category: Community7th Annual Cars And Stripes Forever

    Category: ArtFirst Thursday Artwalk

    Category: CommunityOpen Mic Nite

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    3

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: ArtFirst Thursday Artwalk

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    4

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: Community4th of July Jazz and Blues Festival

    Category: Community4th of July Jazz and Blues Festival

    Category: Art4th of July Extravaganza

    Category: CommunityAll-American 4th of July

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    5

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityThe Rebel Reverend

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    6

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    7

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    8

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySan Pedro Kiwanis Club

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    9

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityFarmer’s Market

    Category: CommunityOpen Mic Nite

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    10

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: EntertainmentWATTS50

    11

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    12

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    13

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    14

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    15

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    16

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    17

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    18

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    19

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    20

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    21

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    22

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    23

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    24

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    25
    26 27

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    28

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    29

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    30

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    31

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    1
  • Take a Trip to Havana

    Take a Trip to Havana
  • Get Home Delivery!

    Get Home Delivery!
  • Join the RLn Network

    Subscribe Today:


    Options


  • Reset The Net: Protect Your Privacy

    Reset The Net: Protect Your Privacy