by Daniel Goncalves
Tired of the old classics? For some the thought of watching the same play year after year is a tradition, while others less sentimental can find the thought of sitting through this annual ritual an incredibly daunting task. Jacksonville’s beloved Alhambra Dinner Theatre will please both personality types with the musical “A Christmas Carole”.
Bruce Allen Scudder adapted the play from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Tod Booth, director/producer, promised me that this would not be the same old Christmas Carol, and that I would be in for a treat. He was right. Scudder’s version has all the old characters but this whimsical version has come a long way since the original story was first published on December 19, 1843.
The Alhambra Dinner Theatre is a Jacksonville institution. Ask some people and they will tell you that it has been here forever, in fact they are celebrating their 40th anniversary season. This was actually my first visit to the theatre and my first impression walking in was that it is very “cozy” in there. The atmosphere is romantic, with a medieval flavor. Upon entering the venue you are taken to your seat and the intimate atmosphere is further exacerbated by small lamps adorning each table. The buffet dinner, an array of home-style dishes, leaves you very satisfied. Following dinner the lights dim down and the show begins.
This lively production is full of singing, plenty of dancing, and captivating performances from each member of this talented cast. This definitely was an extremely upbeat and happy production despite our old friend Ebenezer. The vocal and acting talents of the cast, as well as their use of the entire theatre space by singing and acting among the crowd, ensures the audience is engaged and stimulated the entire time.
A tribute Janie Nowell, playwright, director and actress, the show runs through to December 24th 2008. It’s a great night out for young and old, so check it out and support Jacksonville’s own professional theatre company. For more information and tickets, go to http://www.alhambradinnertheatre.com/.