Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
Also see Tracy's review of Crowns
There are many things that Washington area residents can count on this time of year. The air gets chilly, the National Christmas Tree is lit up downtown and DC's Ford's Theatre offers its annual production of A Christmas Carol. This year, the beloved holiday tale is presented with a brand new set and costumes.
The production is definitely pleasing to the eye. Scenic Designer James Joy has created a handsome set that smacks of Victorian England. David Mickelsen designed the new costumes and they capture the spirit of the piece.
The story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly late night visits has become a holiday favorite. Originally penned by Charles Dickens, the story was adapted for the stage by David H. Bell.
As a whole, the show is put together quite well. Timothy Gregory directs an excellent cast. Steven Crossley heads up the cast as the sour Scrooge. Crossley is appropriately gruff, yet he makes a good transition into the kinder, gentler Scrooge. Mark Aldrich is Scrooge's timid clerk, Bob Cratchit. Although he is very effective, Aldrich comes off rather young for the role. Sherri Edelen has double duty as Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Dilber. Edelen has a good track record for playing character roles and she doesn't disappoint here. The jolly Mr. Fezziwig is played by Jim Beard with great skill. Beard also portrays a wonderfully robust Ghost of Christmas Present. Finally, Johanna Aldrich gives an ethereal performance as the Ghost of Christmas Past and manages to dominate the stage whenever she appears.
The smallest member of the company is Brian Jordan Riemer. He delivers a charming performance as Tiny Tim. Although the phrase "God bless us, everyone" is a familiar holiday time slogan, one still can't help but wipe away a tear when this little one recites it.
This show is beautifully constructed and a real treat. If you haven't yet experienced this Washington favorite, now is the time to visit Ford's Theatre and make A Christmas Carol part of your family's holiday tradition.
Steven Crossley: Ebenezer Scrooge