On Dec. 19, 1843, Charles Dickens published his cautionary tale A Christmas Carol about the transformation of a curmudgeon named Scrooge.
Little did he foresee that a musical theatre version of his “ghost story” about the plight of the poor in Victorian England would be presented at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay, exactly 175 years later.
Courtenay Little Theatre opens A Christmas Carol: the Musical by Mavor Moore, on Dec. 22 for a run of eight matinée and evening performances over the Christmas holidays, with a New Year’s Eve celebration after the final show on Dec. 31.
“This is our Christmas gift to the community,” says the show’s director and choreographer, Susan Bradshaw.
“We have been rehearsing since mid-October with the cast of twenty actors and the support of a fantastic team of designers and crews to bring this uplifting and challenging vision of Dickens’ classic story to life for a modern audience.”
Musical director, Dagmar Kilian, will join the cast to produce the show’s live music onstage.
“I’m excited to play Scrooge as his character grows exponentially, similarly to the Grinch’s heart, throughout the production,” said newly-elected Town of Comox councillor and cast member, Pat McKenna.
“He is unlike any character that I have played before. I am used to being the comic relief but Scrooge has unlimited depth and power. His miserly disdain for the Christmas Spirit is in opposition to my personal views, but his boyish, youthful exuberance at the end of the musical is what I have always loved about the timeless tale of A Christmas Carol.”
Veteran CLT actor, Jeannine Taylor, who plays Mrs. Dilber and the Ghost of Christmas Present, finds it particularly touching that three generations of her family are involved in the show.
“Sharing the stage with my daughter, Holly Taylor, and granddaughter, Celie Lacasse, is truly a dream come true for me, and to have the support of my husband, Chris, in the wings as assistant stage manager makes it all the better. I have a memory I will always hold close to my heart.”
The rest of the cast comprises actors who each play multiple roles. Returning CLT actors Jennifer Moses, Cedar Hilberry, Sharon Pridham, Gary Caine, Larry Stevens, Laura Corey, Jimmy Hampshire, and Taite Marcoux, are joined by newcomers Alli Warnyca, Gillian Hegg, Marion Dawson Voyageur, Ian Langmann, Kaelyn Lloyd, and three members of one family: Diane Brussell, Andrew Baskin, and Teyo Baskin Brussell.
Tickets are on sale now at the Sid Williams Theatre Ticket office, 442 Cliffe Ave in Courtenay, phone (250) 338-2430 ext. 1 and online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.
There are two shows before Christmas on Dec. 22 7:30 p.m. and 23 2 p.m, with six shows after Christmas from Dec. 26 to 31. Take advantage of the group rate when you purchase six or more tickets.