Glad Tidings at Arctic

AChristmasCarolCharles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is an irresistible parable about redemption. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to partake in the spirit of the holiday and seems destined to live a life of gloomy solitude. Arctic Playhouse presents the story as a live radio broadcast in the 1940s. The characters are brought to life by a fictional group of celebrities from film and television.

Director Christian O’Brien pulled highly entertaining performances from a talented cast, especially Dan Whitehead as Freddy Fillmore, the actor playing Scrooge. Whitehead is a delight as he portrays Scrooge’s antipathy toward his beleaguered employee Bob Cratchit, who wants to spend Christmas with his family. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his deceased partner, Jacob Marley, who warns of visits from three other spirits: the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future.

Sally Applewhite (Eileen Goretaya), Harry Haywood (Bob Kent), Lana Sherwood (Valerie Gallagher), Jake Lawrence (Jeff Blanchette) and Tommy “Half-Pint” Temple (played by child actor Sam Maguire) masterfully use different voices to bring A Christmas Carol to life. There are also some vintage commercials for fruitcakes and a department store, which are endearing in their innocence.

Writers Kevin Connors and Joe Landry, who adapted the story, remain faithful to the characters we adore while putting a playful spin on the material. The sets and costumes succeed in taking us back to a more innocent time. Overall, this was an enjoyable show to kick off the holiday season.

A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play runs through Dec 10. The Arctic Playhouse, 117 Washington Street, West Warwick; 401-573-3443; thearcticplayhouse.com

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