|Jeff Garrett: Scrooge defiant|
No matter how many versions of A Christmas Carol you've seen — and I've seen plenty —the new Jewel Theatre Company production, Scrooge: The Haunting of Ebenezer, is something completely different.
It's adapted and performed as a one-man-show by Jeff Garrett, in which the dauntless Garrett enacts 31 characters out of the beloved Charles Dickens classic.
Garrett delivers a Herculean solo performance playing all the parts — from Scrooge, Marley's Ghost, Mrs. Fezziwig, Tiny Tim — in a show that's as much a celebration of the acting craft as it is about the Yuletide season.
This is also the first ever holiday show to be mounted by JTC, now in its 13th season, and embarking on its third year in the Colligan Theater at The Tannery. With only nine scheduled performances over a seven-day period, it's a brisk injection of holiday spirit right when we need it the most.
|Garrett: Scrooge redeemed|
In addition to playing all the characters, Garrett also takes the role of narrator, telling us Dickens' famous Christmas Eve tale in the author's own words.
(Well, not all of them; Garrett cherry-picks his scenes, characters, and incidents, streamlining and condensing the material into a fleet 80 minutes.)
But this isn't Dickens Lite; the emotional heart of the story is laser-focused throughout.
What I love about the novel is the economy of its storytelling, well-served in this unadorned, yet effective production. It only plays through next Sunday, so catch it quick, before it disappears like the foam off a glass of hot bishop. (Read more)