The holiday season is here, the time of year where we celebrate with friends and family, drink champagne and eggnog, and see the city covered in twinkly lights! There are so many delightful things about the holidays, which for some include listening to Christmas music, watching holiday movies, or seeing “The Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Carol” performed for the twentieth time. In fact, this is the 24th season for Charles Dickens’ famous story “A Christmas Carol” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) Theater Company, that was first published December of 1843. It has managed to really stand the test of time thanks to the Theater Company’s diligent work and because the story’s themes still ring true to both children and adults today.
Over the years the DCPA production has gone through many changes, some big like venue spaces, sets, and script, and many small changes to keep the audience interested and entertained, and they do a great job (watch out for that trap door!). This year marks a couple of noteworthy changes with a new director, Melissa Anderson and a new main actor as Scrooge. Sam Gregory now plays Scrooge after having played six other roles in this production and is 26 years younger than the past years’ Scrooge. This younger Scrooge brings new life into the character and the story’s message can live longer through Scrooge now that he is younger when he learns his lessons. However, despite age, Gregory says, “We want to focus on the fact that this is a really incredible play about redemption and how anyone can be redeemed and can change at any age into a better human being.”
Gregory does a great job in his new role portraying the grumpy, greedy businessman and then slowly shows the audience signs his cold heart is melting as the Ghosts of Christmases past take Scrooge moment by moment through events of his life. By the time the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge his likely future, Scrooge/Gregory has displayed a whole array of emotions on stage. By Christmas morning (spoiler alert) Scrooge is a changed man and he sets out to change the lives of his fellow townspeople for the better as well! Gregory is a dynamic actor who, alongside a fantastic cast of characters dressed in exquisitely crafted classic costumes, makes this show a worthy tradition of Christmases past and Christmases yet to come.
“A Christmas Carol” plays through December 24th at the DCPA’s Stage Theater with multiple show times and is great for all ages. There are a few startling parts, and ghosts, so if you’re bringing young children I don’t recommend sitting too close to the stage. . . you’ll see!
By Charles Dickens. Adapted by Richard Hellesen. Music by David de Berry. Directed by Melissa Anderson. Runs approximately 2 hours, plus a 15 min intermission.
Reviewed by Tiffany Candelaria