Monday, December 5, 2016

review - A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Hale Centre Theatre

Mark Kleinman
photo: Nick Woodward-Shaw; Light Design: Jeff A. Davis
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through December 24th.

"...More than any other book, A Christmas Carol holds the record for stage, screen and radio adaptations....as a student of Charles Dickens and all his works...It would be hard to imagine seeing a more authentic, true regional Dickensian production of this story performed any better. Hale Centre Theatre’s 2016 presentation of the Charles Dickens classic is simply wonderful. Director David Hale Dietlein,...has it exactly right. It’s not just that the spirit of the season is alive and well at Hale’s theatre-in-the-round, it’s the genuine feel of Dickens’ presence in almost every moment.
...playing until December 24 ...Hale has two, separate, full ensembles performing on alternate days. The Green Cast is led by Mark Kleinman as Scrooge. The Red Cast is led by Fox 10’s Cory McCloskey. This review covers the Green Cast, though I’m assured, both productions are identical but with the obvious exception of seeing different faces in different roles. When you first enter the house, you’ll see all around you, decorating the theatre’s four walls, the familiar skyline sights of Victorian era London as seen from any rooftop of the time;...It’s like walking on a London set where you’ll remain seated, right in the middle of the city throughout the duration of the play. The script used is an adaptation by Ted Lehman and it’s taken directly from the novel....Dietlin’s colorful and seasonally sparkling production pulls out all the stops in order to inject life and fresh vitality to the all-too familiar story. The image of Marley’s ghost (Matthew R. Harris) is effectively and eerily projected on Scrooge’s front door; thick fog swirls around the grounds as Marley finally appears before the miser; and the image of a large, clock, it’s arms ticking around the Roman numerals marking Scrooge’s passing of time is projected down on the center of the set. When a younger Scrooge (Kelton White) proposes to Belle (Angela Kriese) in the middle of Fezziwig’s Christmas Eve ball, Jeff A. Davis’ lighting design bathes the cast in blue as dancing characters move in slo-mo around the young couple....But it’s the redemption we wait for, and here...watching Mark Kleinman’s change of heart materialize with giddy delight as he finally accepts that invitation for a Christmas Day dinner with his nephew Fred (Stephen Serna) then later as he waits for his clerk to arrive, knowing that Bob Cratchit (Ben Mason) will be late for work, instills a fresh feeling of true, seasonal joy. ...I’m convinced (Dickens) would have loved what Hale has done with his words and his work...." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

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