Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Christmas Carol at Orlando Shakes


I have seen A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens many times so I am a bit jaded, however this production far exceeded my expectations. The set felt like an attic and there was a staircase at the front of the stage that heightened that effect. The play began with the sounds of an excited party below the stage, and then the actors walked up from that excitement onto the stage.

Steven Paterson did an amazing job as the crotchety Scrooge. Paul Bernando got to perform some very angst filled scenes as the chain covered Bob Marley's Ghost. Amazingly he also performed as the kindly ghost of Christmas Present. Many actors got to play up to seven different characters and I didn't even notice. Tiny Tim, played by Sebastian Cranford had the thinnest legs, making him a perfect fit for the part.

The Shakes really seems to be stepping up their game when it comes to effects in their staged productions. A ghostly door knocker was represented by a framed photo in a spotlight held by an actor from behind. When the ghostly knocker came to life the actor pressed his face into the mesh of the canvas creating a ghostly three dimensional apparition. The ghost of Christmas future was a huge hooded puppet that moved around the stage freely. A four poster bed rose from a trap door and the curtains floated down from above.

More important than the flash however was the emotional heart of the production. This is a great show to warm even the coldest heart this holiday season. It is nice to see innocence and kindness win over a hard heart.

Performances of A Christmas Carol continue through December 30, 2018 at the Orlando Shakes (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803) in the Margeson Theater.
Tickets are $30 to $53.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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