Alhambra’s Christmas Carole is back

That penny-pinching old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge is back in residence with the Alhambra’s Christmas Carole until Christmas Eve, as the original musical of Charles Dickens’ classic by Bruce Allen Scudder and Janie Newell makes its 23rd appearance on the stage where this version was born.

The Dual Critics usually write reviews to enlighten the public about what to expect in the show and hopefully to encourage them to see it. Well, that is not the case with this review, since all 51 performances are SOLD OUT! If you want to see it, you can call the theatre, give them a date, and ask them to put you on a waiting list in case someone has to cancel. You probably do have a chance to get tickets, and your odds probably are better than winning the Florida lottery.

We will forgo a description of the plot, it has been done on TV, in movies, and on stage hundreds of times. The Alhambra version was originally directed by Artistic Director TOD BOOTH and he once again has added the “Tod Touches” with bits of new and interesting business to make it even more fun. There are entirely new sets by DAVID DIONNE, but it is still Merry Old England in the 1800s. Some new special effects with the ghosts also make it more exciting. The Costume Crew has refreshed the costumes, and even the very poor Cratchits are dressed in more dapper attire than usual.

Several members of the cast have previously been in an Alhambra Christmas Carole. The original Scrooge who set the standard for this character twenty-three years ago, GARY MARACHEK, is once again a bit scary during the opening scenes but is entirely loveable by all at the final curtain, while keeping the audience in stitches along the way. KENNETH UIBEL once again plays the ghosts we love the most, as he has done for so many years. You can tell he is also a real crowd favorite from his applause at the curtain call.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.