A Christmas Carol is a holiday classic that has been performed many times over the years, has had many different versions written, and many movies made from this text, all based on the novel by Charles Dickens. I had the opportunity to attend the Titus Productions Theatre Co. version written by Jake Andersen. It had many light-hearted and witty moments, and involved the cast in singing many Christmastime favorites. Mr. Andersen, who also directed the show, had a vision to carry out the story’s message that “transcends all social barriers and reminds us to cherish every moment of life and treat everyone as equals, not just at Christmas time, but always.”
Most people know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy man who won’t empty his pockets for anyone. When he is visited by three spirits the night before Christmas they proceed to show Ebenezer his past, present, and what the future may be. Of course, who could forget little Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, with their ability to love and find happiness even with the poverty-stricken life they lead.
Especially in a family show, I like to see characters of all ages and families participating in a show together. This production was filled with actors young and old, and I was impressed with the abilities of the young ones to project and stay in character. It was also nice to hear the mature voices along with the children’s, singing the Christmas Classics loved this time of year.
In the scenes with the Cratchit family, Tiny Tim (played by Mason Johnson) definitely steals your heart away with his sweet little voice and smile. I especially enjoyed the duet, Stars I Shall Find between Bob Cratchit (Quinn Nielsen) and Mrs. Cratchit (Kimberly Johnson). As Mr. Cratchit sang from the gravesite of Tiny Tim and Mrs. Cratchit from her kitchen, it portrayed their struggles alone at losing their son. Yet they would get through it together. It was a tender moment and you could feel the sadness from the characters.
Another touching moment that sticks out in my mind is the duet between Ebenezer (Curtis Johnson) and Belle (Eleisha Keen), Moving On. As he revisits his past and the love he once had, the soprano melody tugs at the heart strings.
Curtis Johnson’s depiction of Ebenezer was well thought out. He started out a greedy, ornery old man. You could sense his heart changing slowly throughout the show. The gradual transition made it easier to believe the character in the end as he changed into a giving, loving man.
Other standout performances were Ghost of Christmas Present (Rossy Thrall), her character was fun and clever. She added much delight to the stage. Also Jacob Marley (Carl Smith), a definite contrast to Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, the other character played by the same actor. His portrayal of Marley was creepy and captivating.
I enjoyed many aspects of this production. Jake Andersen’s direction worked well for this stage. The music and choreography (Emily Preston) was enjoyable and added to the enchantment of this story. I especially enjoyed the period costumes (Mary Ellen Smith, Jake Andersen, Glenna Silvan) that transported you to the old streets of London. The set construction (Lorrinda Christensen) and art (Lily Ito) were simple and perfect to set the scene. I encourage all to take time out of your busy holiday schedule and take your family to this heartwarming show.
A Christmas Carol
Sorensen Unity Center
Salt Lake City, UT
December 15-20, 22 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on the 20th at 2:00 p.m.