A Cappies Review of the recent performance of A Christmas Carol

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“God bless us everyone,” chimes Tiny Tim, as the Cratchit family toasts to prosperity in the New Year, even for Bob Cratchit’s bitter boss, Ebenezer Scrooge. This gesture of generosity from the ailing, young Tiny Tim shows the true meaning of Christmas. The cast and crew of Tuscarora High School’s A Christmas Carol revealed poignant messages about family, generosity, and selflessness in their timelessly thoughtful production.
A Christmas Carol is a play based on the novella by Charles Dickens. The story was first published in London in 1843. Christmas in 1840s London is an enchanting season of harmonious carolers and decadent feasts, but Ebenezer Scrooge does not view it that way. The irritable and cynical man cares about only one thing over the holiday season – making money. He does not give his employees the day off, not even Bob Cratchit, a destitute father of a sickly little boy. On midnight of Christmas Eve, Scrooge receives a visit from three ghosts: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Future. The ghosts take him on magical journeys to show him details about his life he never realized and inspire him to change his ways.

Jordan Tate portrayed the resentful Ebenezer Scrooge. Tate embodied the aging man, taking on hunched shoulders and a shuffled gait. His distinct vocal tone resonated through the theater, as he blurted out Scrooge’s classic catchphrase, “Bahumbug!” Tate showed the arc in Scrooge’s character, transforming from a crotchety old man to a charitable friend.

Katie O’Sullivan played the Ghost of Christmas Past. She exuded a sprite-like persona, equipping herself with a light, swift stride and girlish vocal quality. Her vivacity in her movements and facial expressions sparkled on the stage. The Ghost of Christmas Present was portrayed by Kendall Gunter. Gunter radiated confidence and sass as she paraded around to the different settings in Scrooge’s present. Natalie Ah Nee played the Ghost of Christmas Future. Ah Nee’s dark characterization contrasted with the first two ghosts. Cloaked in a black cape, Ah Nee slinked across the stage, speaking with a deep eerie tone.

Commendable technical aspects ignited the childlike magic of the holidays in the hearts of the audience. Vibrant costumes fit the status of each character. The penniless Cratchit family’s drab rags juxtaposed with the elegant hoop skirts at the ball. The ghosts’ whimsical costumes and makeup added a fantasy element to the production. Ghost of Christmas Past’s simple, flowy white dress twinkled with tiny string lights. Ghost of Christmas Present wore a sophisticated green gown, while Ghost of Christmas Future wore a long black cloak and ghastly makeup.  An extensive range of set pieces decorated the stage, from the masonry exterior of Scrooge’s office to the grand dining room, adorned with a mouthwatering Christmas feast.

As Christmas snow falls on the quiet London town, a family rejoices over the generosity of Ebenezer Scrooge. Dainty carols and poignant family moments warmed hearts in the classic tale of a changed man. The cast and crew of Tuscarora High School’s A Christmas Carol delighted audiences with their merry production.

by Diana Witt of Westfield High School

Photos by Robert Johnson

This review was submitted by guest writer Diana Witt of Westfield High School. Witt was a Cappies reviewer for the Saturday, Dec. 3 performance of Tuscarora’s A Christmas Carol – for more information on the Cappies program, visit https://www.cappies.com/nca

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