“Bah Humbug.” Classic Scrooge. For those of you who are currently channeling your inner Scrooge due to finals (yes I used the f-word) and cannot seem to find the light in your study caves, I bring you good news, my fellow comrades. Thanks to my friends in the SMU Theatre department, I was able to attend the press opening of “A Christmas Carol” last night. Thanks to this incredible production and a small Christmas miracle, I actually forgot about my academic to-do list. I’m an artsy nerd and a Christmas enthusiast (it’s 22 days away if you were wondering), so I have seen “A Christmas Carol” presented both terribly and charmingly. Never, though, have I seen this show done brilliantly. Until now.
The Dallas Theater Center’s performance of “A Christmas Carol” exceeded my expectations and has me even more eager for Santa’s arrival (I still believe). This tale centers on wretched, old Ebenezer Scrooge and the one enchanting night that brought hope, joy, and Christmas cheer back into his life, changing him forever. The show was extremely intimate, which kept me engaged and entertained throughout the production (a child actor was literally sitting at my feet at one point). The characters marvelously waltzed around Wyly Theater’s small setting as if we weren’t even there. The stage, props, and lights were impeccably utilized and helped to construct some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve had the pleasure of viewing in a theatrical atmosphere. My favorite touch was the festive lights lining and illuminating the entire theater, which created a captivating and warm space that is often hard to attain with basic theater lighting.
Led by director Lee Trull and choreographer Jeremy Dumont, the cast of the DTC’s “A Christmas Carol” blew me away. Chamblee Ferguson paved the way as Ebenezer Scrooge, who balanced charisma, vulnerability, and an air of iciness with skill. Sabina Zuniga Varela, the Ghost of Christmas Past, brought a sense of kindness as well as mystery to her character and dazzled with her twisted rendition of a classic Christmas tune (one of my favorites moments of the show). Also, Julie Jones was hilariously entertaining as Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Dilber. Tiny Tim just took adorable to another level. Seriously, the kid should win an award for being that cute. In addition to these esteemed cast members and many others, five SMU students took the stage in this production. Heather Arney (Sister-in-Law), Morgan Laure (Lucy), McClendon Giles (Peter Cratchit), Kristin Lee (Belle), and Brandon Murphy (Young Scrooge) wowed as their characters and made me proud to be a Meadows student. Well done, guys.
For those of you who need a break from studying for f***** (better?) and want a rewarding way to spend your free time, this show is a must-see. If you prefer to keep drudging through your notes until your last exam, “A Christmas Carol” runs through December 27th at the Wyly Theatre, so you can still catch it after the semester ends just in time to renew your Christmas spirit. Tickets can be purchased by calling 214-880-0202 or visiting www.DallasTheaterCenter.org. In the meantime, try not to be a complete Scrooge, talk to other human beings every once in awhile, and just remember that it’s still the most wonderful time of the year.