A Christmas Carol a story that never grows old

mcneir | 12/14/2011, 7:30 a.m.

There are some things that many of us anticipate each year as the Christmas season unfolds: last-minute shopping, family reunions, Handels Messiah, egg nog concoctions and of course, Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. In fact, Dickens story is to theater what Tchaikovskys Nutcracker is to ballet an ageless classic that transcends race, creed or culture. The story, first published in 1843, tells of the sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge who undergoes a life-changing transformation after the supernatural visits of his former business partner, Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. It shows how we can all be changed for the good. As the novel made its way to staged versions, it earned the reputation for restoring the holiday to one of merriment and joy for those in England and the U.S. after a long period of somberness and difficult times. Here in South Florida, the play made its way to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts last week in a high-energy musical version that delighted children and adults alike. A solo show that took a fresh look at the story ends on Dec. 14th at the Actors Playhouse. And of course there will be opportunities to see the many televised versions of the play, starring everyone from the Scottish actor Alistair Sims, who is considered the best of all Scrooges [from the 1951 black and white film] to other Scrooges played by the likes of Mister Magoo and even Mickey Mouse. Two classic lines from A Christmas Carol are worth the price of admission: Scrooge saying Bah humbug before his metamorphosis and Tiny Tims prayerful words, God bless us everyone. by D. Kevin McNeir kmcneir@miamitimesonline.com