Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review of A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Christmas Carol. It was by Charles Dickens, adapted by Tom Creamer, and it was directed by Henry Wishcamper. It was about a man named Scrooge (Larry Yando) who was very rich and his partner Marley (Joe Foust) had died. The Ghost of Marley goes to Scrooge and tells him that he'll be visited by three spirits. Marley and the ghosts all warn him that if he continues his selfish ways, he will have chains on him when he dies. It is about changing so that you can show more kindness, forgiveness, and charity. I think that this is a really great show. It is so touching and funny, and it gives you goosebumps.

This show was pretty scary at some parts, but it would still be okay for most kids. It is important for it to actually be scary because the Charles Dickens' book is not all fun and games. When Marley comes out of the painting it is super scary because it just looks like a normal painting and then when you take a second glance at it you see what Scrooge sees. When the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (J. Salomé Martinez and Kareem Bandealy) was on stage that was also very creepy because it looked like this giant version of the Grim Reaper, which is even creepier than the smaller Grim Reaper. The director has these ghosts jump-scare you because they tell Scrooge the worst news, which is that if he continues being an ungenerous person that he will not be remembered fondly. In these moments, you feel fear when Scrooge does. The fear scares Scrooge into doing things he thought wouldn't work out well, like being kind and being generous and being free spirited. He was afraid before that if he did those things he would lose all his money, but now he is less fearful of that because he is more afraid of messing up his life than of not having all the money in the world.

There are a lot of very funny moments in this show. Scrooge is a very very funny character. Before he is changed, you laugh at how ridiculously cold-hearted and cheap he is. After he is changed, you laugh at how giddy he is. And he laughs too. He is kind of like a kid in a candy store, but the candy is Christmas spirit and making up for the wrong things he's done. It is happier after his change because when you laugh at someone, it can be mean, but when you are laughing with someone, it seems more like a family. And now we are family with Scrooge; he has made a connection with the audience. Close to the end of the show, Bob Cratchit (Ron E. Rains) comes to work late and he is expecting for Scrooge to get super mad when he sees he is late. So he is going as quietly as possible, and it turns into this entire comedy routine. I thought it was very funny when he got his scarf stuck in the door, and he had to go and retrace all his steps, and scootching the chair back was where he got caught. He got past all these crazy-hard obstacles, but he couldn't get past scootching the chair!

There were so many touching moments in this show. There are families going through hard times and you keep having more sympathy for Scrooge. Like when you see the terrible school that young Scrooge (Aaron Lamm) went to and how he was mistreated, but then you get to see his sister Fan (Paige Collins) and how she loved him even though his parents had kind of neglected him. And another moment where you feel sympathy for Scrooge is when Belle (Kristina Valada-Vlars) breaks off their engagement because she can't trust him to want to raise a family instead of just making money. I think at the end he should go and get old-person married with her because I think she would really like this Scrooge even more than the Scrooge she knew at first. Also, when Scrooge has his reunion with his nephew Fred (Anish Jethmalani), it is super touching because Fred has always loved Scrooge even though Scrooge has made it clear that he doesn't feel the same way. When they hugged, it brought tears to my eyes because you wanted it for a while; you wanted him to apologize to the people he had hurt, and the hug was so beautiful because it seemed like an actual hug, not a quick stage hug. They seemed like they actually meant it.

People who would like this show are people who like creepy Christmas stories, scarf comedy, and family. I think that people should definitely go see this show. I thought it was beautiful, funny, and amazing!

Photos: Liz Lauren

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