Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scrooge of Christmas Past, Local Kids Complete Christmas Carol Cast

Bill Raymond as Scrooge. Photo:T. Charles Erickson
What do you get when you combine 3,000 pounds of dry ice, 200 pounds of plastic snow, 33 presents under a tree, and a seve- pound goose? You get 15 years and 661 total performances of Hartford Stage's holiday production of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas.

 Hartford Stage has announced the full cast and creative team of the 15th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted and originally directed by former Artistic Director Michael Wilson, on stage Nov. 23 to Dec. 29. This year's show will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Maxwell Williams.

Hartford Stage brings the magic of Dickens' heart-warming classic to life in this Connecticut holiday tradition. The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the heartless miser who discovers the true meaning of the holiday season after a Christmas Eve haunting, features all of Charles Dickens' beloved characters: Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ghosts take flight and soar across the stage, carols are sung and snow falls capturing the spirit of a Victorian Christmas forever warming the hearts of adults and children alike. 

Bill Raymond, currently on screen in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," returns for his 13th season as Scrooge for all evening and weekend matinee performances. Gustave Johnson will again play the role of Scrooge for the student matinee performances. 

Local youngsters Ethan Pancoast and Fred Thornley IV, both of whom appeared this summer in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at Goodspeed Opera House, will rotate the role of Tiny Tim. Pancoast is a third grader at West Hill Elementary in Rocky Hill, and Thornley attends first grade at Noah Webster Micro Society Magnet School in Hartford.

The cast will also include Curtis Billings (Fred, Young Scrooge), Robert Hannon Davis (Bob Cratchit), Rebecka Jones (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Cratchit), Sarah Killough (Wendy, Fred's Sister-in-Law, Begger Woman), Johanna Morrison (Bettye Pidgeon, Spirit of Christmas Past, Old Josie), Michael Preston (Mr. Marvel), Alan Rust (Bert, Mr. Fezziwig, Spirit of Christmas Present), Noble Shropshire (Mrs. Dilber, Jacob Marley), Charlie Tirrell (First Solicitor, Undertaker), and Gillian Williams (Fred's Wife, Belle). 

Also, from The Hartt School, Caitlin Blauvelt (Rich Lady), Josh Boscarino (Teen Scrooge), Dakota Dutcher (Dick Wilkins, Spirit of Christmas Future), Kelsey Flynn (Female Swing), Sarah Kozlowski (Ghostly Apparition, Citizen of London), Lars Lee (Male Swing), William Macke (Party Guest), Andrew McMath (Party Guest), Seth Peterson (Second Solicitor, Fiddler), Matthew Reddick (Lamplighter, Fiddler, Mr. Topper), Tara Reuter (Martha Cratchit), and Hannah Spacone (Nichola).

The Children include Tiana N. Bailey, Tailanae Brantley, Lauren Cassot, Abi Conner, Meg Conner, Jacrhys Dalton, Rachael Dalton, Tyra Harris, Andrew Holland, Daniel Kemple, Daniel Madigan, Marisa McKee, Emily McLean, Abigail McMillian, Adian McMillan, Dermot McMillan, Eric Stephen Murphy, Benjamin Olsen, Eliza Polukhin, Ankit Roy, Aleksei Sandals, Brandon Szep, John Henry Wenz, and Tilden Wilder. 

A Christmas Carol features scenic design by Tony Straiges, costume design by Zach Brown, lighting design by Robert Wierzel, original music and sound design by John Gromada, choreography by Hope Clarke and musical direction by Ken Clark. Derric Harris will serve as dance coach; Sarah Killough asdance captain; Gillian Lane-Plescia as dialect coach; and Christina Pellegrini asyouth director.

Performances are weeknights and weekends at 7:30 pm. Matinee performances are Sundays and selected weekdays and Saturdays at 2 pm. For specific schedule of performances or to buy tickets: 860-527-5151 ; www.hartfordstage.org.

More information:

Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Half-Price Children's Tickets - for all Thanksgiving weekend performances, November 23-25.Offer expires November 23.

Family 4-Packs - Premium Gold Seats (2 adults, 2 children) - $199.50. Save $57.50. And Gold Seats (2 adults, 2 children) - $174.50. Save $52.50. Offer expires Nov. 23.

A Christmas Carol Experience - Make your-child's experience extra special with our A Christmas Carol Experience package. Enjoy unlimited hot cocoa, fill up a bag at our Candy Bar before the show and decorate a cookie at intermission. $10 per person. Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 before the show at 1:30 pm.

Market Days - Come and join Hartford Stage for some shopping and a show! Local vendors will showcase unique gift items in our lobby before the show, during intermission and after the show. Free to the public. Dec. 9, doors open at 12:30 pm.

Behind the Magic - The Hartford Stage production staff hosts a behind-the-scenes look at all the amazing special effects that make ghosts soar through the air, snow fall, and bring our beloved production of A Christmas Carol to life! A special look at the world of technical "magic" the whole family can enjoy. $5 per person. Dec. 16 at 4 pm.

Family Fun Night - Before the show, the spooky ghosts will greet and entertain. After the show, get autographs from all your favorite characters. Free with show ticket. Dec. 20 at 6:45 pm.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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