Christmas Has Gotten Even Better!

A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep

Trinity’s production of A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Rhode Island traditions. It’s a joy to be reminded that redemption can be earned by those willing to accept it, whether the redemption is for a life focused on greed or for opportunities lost. We know that if Ebenezer Scrooge, of all people, the old moneylender who has lost his way can be given a chance on Christmas Eve to rediscover it, then maybe it’s not too late for the rest of us.

I’ve had the pleasure to experience Trinity’s rendition off and on over the years, and always enjoyed it, but I had missed a few years. While I was paying attention elsewhere,
Of course the production is given a new flavor each year. The first time I went, the play started intense — almost broadway-like, with kettle

Another year, it started with almost modern Christmas Carolers. Another year, puppets were the theme. Yet another year Scrooge was female.

But this time… this time! Wow! Music and singing throughout the play, regularly breaking the fourth wall, and being unafraid to make changes to the storyline where it can thrill, please, or tickle the audience. For instance, this time when Scrooge visits the events of Christmas past, he’s not an invisible spirit, instead he is an active, if unwilling participant in the joys and pains of his Christmases past.
The entry and exits of the various spirits are always creative, making great use of the Trinity’s open floor design, appearing objects and people from the “flys” overhead and “traps” below. The costumes add sparkle, where sparkle is called for, and dreariness where that is needed.
We all know the story, and the dialog stays very close to the original text. The settings change a little, and the casting differs, delivering us female spirits of Christmas from year to year for instance, but a Dickens purist would have little to complain about. Some years, the cast addresses the audience directly, and one year they engaged the audience in a sing-along, but I’m not complaining; this is a play to get us in the spirit of Christmas.
And after seeing The Christmas Carol, I’m always ready for Christmas to begin, and this year, more than ever!

Trintiy Rep is located at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 351-4242

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