Wednesday, December 16, 2015

reviews - A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Arizona Theatre Company

Katie McFadzen
photo: John Groseclose
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this productions which runs through December 26th.

"...a smart and faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. ...director Matthew Wiener guides the wonderful Katie McFadzen in bringing the thrilling story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge’s redemption to life. ...Weiner... knows what works and what doesn’t work when bringing Scrooge to the stage...Jumping from character to character at the drop of a top hat...With a minimum use of props...plus the addition of both Brian Jerome Peterson’s atmospheric sound...and (Paul) Black’s shadowy and occasionally spooky lighting, an animated Katie steps, struts and finger points her way through Dickens’ tale to the point where the term tour-de-force takes on something literal. It’s a masterful, ninety minute performance of theatrical skill as Katie narrates, leaps from character to character and digs down into the seriousness of Dickens’ prose to find the humor without changing the words and brings it to the surface. Despite a few critical essays, Charles Dickens was thrilled with America. He had a passion for theatre and he loved talent. I’m sure he would have loved Katie McFadzen. " -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"When you combine the power of Charles Dickens' words and the spectacular acting abilities of Valley favorite Katie McFadzen you get the dynamic one woman solo version of A Christmas Carol. ....ATC is presenting a straightforward production in which McFadzen recites Dickens' original story to us. But she doesn't just stand and read the story, she hurls herself across the stage using her adept body language and strong voice inflection to not only become the numerous characters but to add dramatic and moving moments to the narrative....it has the essence of the novel come to life....Under Matthew Wiener's expert direction, McFadzen does an excellent job of portraying not only all of the shadings and layers of Scrooge—from gruff, conflicted, sad, and miserable to reflective, joyful, and introspective once the ghosts work their magic on him—but also every other character in the story as well...Paul Black's lighting designs are impressive and always changing...The sound design from Brian Jerome Peterson is lush and evocative...A Christmas Carol is a wonderful story of how it is never too late to change for the better and, consequently, how, by doing so, we can also change the lives of those around us. With Dickens' original words, McFadzen's glorious acting abilities, and Wiener's assured direction, ATC's production is a beautiful throwback to the traditional form of storytelling...a magical experience."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...Watching McFadzen breeze through the tale is a delightful adventure as she crafts each character with unique consistency as she switches among the many personas over the show’s 75-minute duration.  She has limited theatrical accouterments – a table, a chair, a few different top coats, and hardly any props but McFadzen’s acting skill makes every character distinctive.  Matthew Wiener’s irreverent staging allows McFadzen to deliver a phenomenal performance." --Chris Curcio, KBAQ (click here to read the complete review)

"...Arizona Theatre Company’s one-woman version, starring Katie McFadzen, is such a delight. Another reason, of course, is McFadzen herself. ... irrepressible physical-comedy talents...deftly switching characters and costumes and bringing just the right amount of humor to temper, but not overwhelm, this ghost story’s serious message...Katie McFadzen makes old-fashioned storytelling feel fresh."  - Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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