Theatrical Review – A Christmas Carol, the Musical
By Don Chaddock
El Dorado Musical Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” is big-city entertainment without a commute. From Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim to Ebenezer Scrooge, all the familiar characters are present. Regular theatergoers will recognize many of the names in the cast list, including Elly award winner Matt Provencal in the title role with the Mistletoe Cast. Alex Levy plays the same character in the Holly Cast. Two casts tackle different dates and show times. I’ve seen the play twice, both of them with the Mistletoe crew.
Highlights include characters flying across the stage. The three ghosts — Past, Present and Future — as well as Scrooge and a few others take to the air. Provencal’s heartfelt performance as the miserly Scrooge brought a real sense of gravity. His acting ability will carry him far if he chooses to pursue such a career. A 20-year-old American River College student, Provencal infused that intangible “it” into the role. His stage presence and charisma are evident, even behind layers of aging makeup and a wig. Another standout is 17-year-old Jordan Sharp as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Her obvious training as a dancer aided her while she was suspended on wires, flying through scenes. Sharp’s role as the ghost, though, wasn’t her only stellar performance. She also portrayed a worker in the beginning and end of the show, and donned a red outfit with white trim as one of a group of Christmas-themed showgirls. Emily, the love interest of the young Scrooge in flashback scenes, can’t be overlooked. The relatively small part was brought to life by Carly Speno, a 15-year-old student at Oak Ridge High School. Speno also showed her dancing skills as one of the showgirls and had various other roles throughout the play. Jacob Marley, the ghost who warns Scrooge of the impending visits of the other three ghosts, was expertly played by Asher Dubin, 16, a student at Ponderosa High School. Dubin also doubled as Mr. Fezziwig, the man who gives a young Scrooge his start in the business world. Matthew Bryant, 8, also did a fantastic turn as Tiny Tim.
“During the play, they did so many technical special effects on it, it could have gone horribly wrong,” said my 11-year-old daughter, Parker. “You could tell they had excellent technical (advisers).” Her favorite character was Bob Cratchit, played by Johnny Cranmer, 15, a student at Oak Ridge. Cian, my 12-year-old son, said his favorite character was the Ghost of Christmas Future, played by Jenna Sharp, 15, another student at Oak Ridge. “She was creepy and scary,” he said. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars