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By Brian Robin

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like "A Christmas Carol"—12 Reasons You Don’t Want To Miss It!

There are 12 days remaining until SCR’s holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, begins its 43rd year on the Segerstrom Stage. The production runs Nov. 25-Dec. 24.

With that, we’re counting down the 12 reasons A Christmas Carol is a must-see.

  1. The Experience: You’ve probably seen A Christmas Carol on TV or film. But nothing beats the emotional, electric experience of being in the theatre for a live production of Dickens’ masterpiece. “Memorable moments abound,” wrote Eric Marchese in the Newport Beach Independent.
  2. Charles Dickens: He’s in the pantheon with Shakespeare, Twain, Hemingway, Cervantes and a small fraction of other authors whose stories not only stand the test of time, they get better with age. Dickens’ tale about redemption, goodwill and generosity toward one’s fellow man remains as relevant in 2023 as it was when Dickens wrote it—in 1843.
  3. Richard Doyle: One of SCR’s Founding Members, Doyle brings 38 years of experience in the production to his third year as Ebenezer Scrooge. Whether he’s Cranky Scrooge, Repentant Scrooge or Joyful Scrooge, Doyle brings everyone’s favorite curmudgeon to life in an entertaining manner, taking audiences along for a special journey.
  4. Hisa Takakuwa: Directing her third production after spending 14 years as an assistant director and another 14 in the cast, Takakuwa brings extensive knowledge, passion and dedication to her craft. Her level of love and care for this holiday tradition adds to the quality awaiting audiences.
  5. The Spirits: From Jennifer Parsons’ Spirit of Christmas Past balancing helpfulness with a taskmaster’s certainty, to Richard Soto’s Spirit of Christmas Present coming at Scrooge with his Falstaffian friendliness tinged with warnings, to Michael Manuel’s haunting, attention-grabbing Jacob Marley’s Ghost, to the frightening spectre of newcomer Alex Barlas’ Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, A Christmas Carol’s specters are the ultimate time-travel guides.
  6. The Costumes: It’s the sartorial splendor of Victorian London, designed by the late Dwight Richard Odle, combined with the incredible and dedicated work of the SCR Costume Shop, which fabricates hundreds of costume pieces. And that’s just for the 16 children. Speaking of which …
  7. The Red Team: You’ll see them Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at noon., playing the children’s parts. The Red Team features Justine Roussel (Martha Cratchit), Matthew Chan (Peter Cratchit), Megan Chan (Belinda Cratchit), Penelope Main (Tiny Tim), Piper Huntley (Teen Girl About Town), Chiara Cecconi (Girl About Town), Oliver Wiseman (Boy Scrooge/Oliver Shelley) and Isaac Person (Turkey Boy).
  8. The Green Team: Alternating performances with the Red Team, the Green Team performs Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. The Green Team features Quinn Garcia (Martha Cratchit), Maximilian Lalli (Peter Cratchit), Amelia Zazik (Belinda Cratchit), Bea Main (Tiny Tim), Gingko Dupuis (Teen Girl About Town), Maddie Chung (Girl About Town), Griffin Brophy (Boy Scrooge/Oliver Shelley) and Max Zazik (Turkey Boy).
  9. Tiny Tim (times two): Say “Hello” to your scene stealers. Played by sisters Penelope Main (Red Team) and Bea Main (Green Team), Tiny Tim’s story tugs at your heartstrings every year.
  10. The Cast: This talented cast features Diana Burbano (Mrs. Fezziwig/Solicitor), Tommy Beck (Young Scrooge), Kelsey Bray (Mrs. Shelley/Pursued Maiden), Erika Schindele (Sally), Preston Maybank (Bob Cratchit), Larry Bates (Fred), Eduardo Enrikez (Joe/Young Marley), Bo Foxworth (Mr. Fezziwig/Solicitor), Elyse Mirto (Mrs. Cratchit), and Alicia Coca (Belle). The cast also features understudies, Kaci Hamilton (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Cratchit, Spirit of Christmas Past, Sally) and Michael Polak (Bob Cratchit, Spirit of Christmas Present, Fred, Jacob Marley).
  11. The Sets: Tom Buderwitz’s scenic design transports you into Victorian London. As Chris Daniels of The Show Report cleverly describes, “Mr. Buderwitz’s scenic design—all elaborately designed with canted angles—evokes Ebenezer Scrooge’s warped priorities, his slanted mind and steely heart. You can actually even hear the chilly London wind blow through the drafty bedroom where the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future come to take him on his journey.”
  12. It Cures Your ‘Bah-Humbugs’: The combination of Dickens’ story, adaptor Jerry Patch’s words and the talented cast and creative team is the perfect holiday breeze to blow away those-cloud days. 

About the author

South Coast Repertory

South Coast Repertory is a Tony Award-winning theatre is known for producing classics, contemporary hits and world premieres, for having the largest new-play development program in the nation and for advancing the art of theatre in service to the community. 

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