A CHRISTMAS CAROL: AS TOLD BY THE ONE MAN TO WHOM IT MATTERS is a one-man show that is warm, engaging, and cozy – like a cup of cocoa on a chilly night. There can be a worry when a holiday classic gets adapted, but the new streaming version of Scrooge’s tale at North Coast Repertory Theatre offers the original tale with a delightful twist.
The show, written by Zander Michaelson and performed by James Newcomb wastes no time getting into the story. The audience learns from the narrator that it is now 40 years after Scrooge’s fateful sojourn with the spirits. While the narrator knows who the unnamed “one man to whom it matters” the title references, it’s fun to try to watch the show with the added mystery twist – who is this man?
Newcomb is a charming narrator and moves quickly and clearly through all the characters. Scrooge is still miserly and stubborn, his Ghost of Chrismas Present has a delightful brogue, and his Cratchit family a delightful display of familial love. Aided on occasion by special effects or sound effects, Newcomb infuses this ghostly redemption tale with warmth.
Directed by David Ellenstein, the play keeps a brisk pace while still serving aloof the characters and scenes in the original tale. It doesn’t allow for wallowing in the spooky or sad aspects as sometimes can happen, without losing the impact of those parts. (Dickens wrote “Carol” as a novella after all, which some versions can forget)
Set design by Marty Burnett and creates a festive atmosphere with a tree and a comfortable chair, props by Phillip Korth, and is enhanced by the costume design by Elisa Benzoni. Filming by Aaron Rumley allow for the special effects to augment the story.
As for that mystery man mentioned in the title? Well, the narrator does give a few clues about his life throughout the narrative, and the answer to the riddle is both satisfying and clever whether you figure it out or not.
As the show closes the Narrator does circle back to a perspective that drives the warm heart of the story. “Even the smallest kindness to a stranger can change the world and reverberate around the globe.” Words that are true no matter the season.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: AS TOLD BY THE ONE MAN TO WHOM IT MATTERS by North Coast Repertory Theatre is playing through December 31st. Tickets to access the performance can be purchased at www.northcoastrep.org The run time is 76 minutes.
Once you purchase your ticket to the performance you will be sent a link to watch. Once you have clicked the link you will have 48 hours of access to view it.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: AS TOLD BY THE ONE MAN TO WHOM IT MATTERS
Written By Zander Michaelson
Directed ByPeter Ellenstein
Performed by James Newcomb
Scenic Designer Marty Burnett
Costumes byElisa Benzoni
Cinematographer/Editor Aaron Rumley
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