Entertainment » Theatre

There's Much to Love in Trinity's 'A Christmas Carol'

by Will Demers
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Nov 13, 2019
Taavon Gamble as Jacob Marley (left) and Jude Sandy as Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at the Trinity Repertory Company. (Photo by Mark Turek)
Taavon Gamble as Jacob Marley (left) and Jude Sandy as Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at the Trinity Repertory Company. (Photo by Mark Turek)   

As New England weather takes its customary turn towards chilly, so comes the season of gifting and celebrating. Dickens clearly knew how to celebrate the season when he wrote "A Christmas Carol" and if you don't know that story, you're probably the only one who doesn't. Scrooge (Jude Sandy) was the most miserly of moneylenders back in 1843, and he didn't care to spend anything on himself, let alone anybody else in his life.

Trinity Repertory rolls out the holly wreaths and stage snow for another annual version of the tale, and this time it sparkles with wit, wisdom and some fabulous performances. Company member Sandy is joined by familiar faces like Mauro Hantman (Charman, Micawber), Taavon Gamble (Jacob Marley), Stephen Thorne (Solicitor, Royal Exchange Gentleman), and Rachael Warren (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present). And as usual there's a flurry of new faces and child actors eager to spread some Holiday cheer.

There's also a bit of gender switching here; Scrooge's nephew is now his niece Frederika (Haley Schwartz, who sparkles in her role), and Mister Dilber, the housekeeper, is played delightfully by Henry Hetz. Ricardy Fabre is the downtrodden underpaid Cratchit, and Danielle Dorfman pulls double duty as his wife and Belle, Scrooge's only sibling. Director Kate Bergstrom works some magic here, allowing some modern witticisms to break through the dark tale, and her casting choices are inspired ones. The set is simple this year, without much adornment, but still in keeping with the seasonal tale has plenty of props of the holiday type.

The cheerful music, composed by Richard Cumming, has a familiar feel as many of the songs are from past performances of the show. Resident actor are present: Warren is an absolute delight as Ghost of Christmas Present, with a fabulous dress in tow, and longtime company member Timothy Crowe makes an appearance as the Schoolmaster. And Sandy is wonderful as the old miser, capturing the journey of a man who's tired of life because he just isn't living it the way he should be. And newcomer A.J. Baldwin (Lucy, Ghost of Christmas Past) injects some magic of her own, and as a ghost her gown is pretty amazing.

There's so much to love about Dickens' lively holiday tale of redemption and hope, and Trinity Repertory Company gets into the "spirit" of things quite well. This year's production is an absolute delight. Filled with colorful costumes, sounds and imaginative lighting, this is an absolute Holiday must for the entire family.

"A Christmas Carol" is running through December 29 at the Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903. For information or tickets call 401-351-4242 or visit https://www.trinityrep.com.

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