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AL HIRSCHFELD GALLERY AT THE MANSION/MUSEUM AND OTHER HISTORIC NYC LANDMARKS TO PRESENT EXTRAORDINARY TWO-MAN CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH LIVE MUSIC
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 04:42 pm EST 11/05/19
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 04:41 pm EST 11/05/19

AL HIRSCHFELD GALLERY AT THE MANSION/MUSEUM
AND OTHER HISTORIC NYC LANDMARKS TO PRESENT
EXTRAORDINARY TWO-MAN CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH LIVE MUSIC

HISTORIC SITES IN NYC, MIAMI, ATLANTA THE SETTING FOR DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS PARTIES

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a Play with Music will make its New York City Debut in December 2019 with twelve performances across four city landmarks after last year's successful run in Boston. This two-man production features Dickens' original language supported by beloved Christmas songs and old-fashioned Foley-style sound effects, all performed live.

"In 1867 Dickens toured New York City performing his A Christmas Carol. We're doing the same thing-in venues you don't expect to see theatre-places that were here when Dickens was here," said co-adapter and actor Jeffries Thaiss. "This show is designed to not need a set. These historic places, they become our set."

Thaiss and his co-adapter and co-performer, veteran Broadway actor/musician Eric Scott Anthony, present the story in 75 minutes "without modernizing or watering-down" Dickens' original language. Thaiss plays all the roles, from Scrooge to the Ghosts and more than 20 others. Anthony underscores the action on guitar, singing traditional Christmas carols while creating sound effects one might have heard in the 1800s.

The production's flagship venue, Greenwich Village's famed Al Hirschfeld Gallery at the Mansion/Museum, will serve Mrs. Cratchit's Christmas Dinner, a traditional English Christmas dinner akin to the one described in the novel, before the 8PM performance on Saturday, December 21 (dinner starts at 6:30). The other performances at the Mansion will feature complementary puddings and pies and English tea, as well as a self-guided tour of the Mansion an hour before show time.

The Ballroom of the Al Hirschfeld Gallery/Mansion/Museum, where the show will be performed, was added to the original Mansion in 1899 by Stanford White. (The Mansion houses the Al Hirschfeld Gallery and a vast array of the master characterist's works.)

Musician Anthony said, "In 1899, when Stanford White built the Ballroom, there was no electronic amplification. He designed it for performance. The acoustics are perfect."
The production first plays at Manhattan's oldest house, the Morris-Jumel Mansion. It then goes to Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island, and the Swedish Seamen's Church, where it's being presented as an interactive event with the New York Adventure Club. It also travels to Miami, Atlanta, and back to Boston.

Last year's Boston run took place at the historic Commander's Mansion, produced by New Repertory Theatre. It played to standing ovations for both adults and students, but Thaiss is modest about its success. "Maintaining Dickens' sometimes archaic language, when I first spoke his original text for an audience of 300 school kids I thought, 'what have I done? I'm gonna lose them!' But at the end of the show they were on their feet. That's not me, or Eric-that's the power of telling this story simply, with little artifice, and letting the words work. This message of redemption is really welcome."

ERIC SCOTT ANTHONY (co-adapter and "The Musician") is a Broadway and national tour veteran musician and actor who has brought his celebrated guitar, vocal, and acting skills to theatres, symphony concert halls, and clubs all over the country and overseas, and has frequently collaborated with Tony and Grammy Award winning artists. He's toured the country with his band Ben Hope & the Uptown Outfit.

JEFFRIES THAISS (co-adapter and "The Actor") is an award-winning actor who has played in a wide range of roles from Shakespeare and Ibsen to favorites of musical theatre at many of the country's top venues, including Tony Award winning theatres Seattle Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and The Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, DC.

CLAY HOPPER (director) Numerous directing, producing, artistic associate credits including Olney Theatre Center, New Repertory Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Festival's Actor's Lab, Lincoln Center's Clark Studio Theatre, off-off-Broadway, and others. Clay has extensive experience teaching and directing at the university level, currently serving as Lecturer of Directing and Theatre Arts at Boston University.
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