Review: “A Christmas Carol” lives up to it’s local legacy

By: Averi.Baudler.Com

Iowa State Theatre delivered its final dose of holiday cheer during its closing performance of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ which took place at Fisher Theater on Sunday, December 10th.

‘A Christmas Carol’ has become a staple in ISU Theatre’s lineup and has been put on every third winter for the past 25 years. It was evident that this show has created a reputation for itself, as the Sunday matinee was performed to a nearly sold-out audience.

Actors dressed up in costumes and already fully in character greeted me as I walked in the front doors of the theater, and excitement was in the air as everyone cheerfully chatted before the curtain came up.

Once the show began, the audience was instantly entranced by the set and costuming, and the spot on portrayal of all of the characters. Scrooge had a great stage presence and his nastiness made me, and many others in the audience, dislike him from the start.

As the show continued, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future all commanded the stage with their presence upon entrance, and were easily able to change the emotion of the scene to whatever they needed it to be.

Four characters who I did not expect to be in this show were the narrators. These actors were there to intertwine Charles Dickens’ original words of ‘A Christmas Carol’ into the play adaptation. Although unexpected, the addition of these characters was very interesting and helped the play stick to its original roots, which I enjoyed.

One aspect of the show that I was very impressed by was the use of child actors. This show included 12 community children, and their performances were as good as they were adorable. The children were featured in many different scenes, and it was impossible not to smile when they entered the stage.

This traditional story also had its fair share of humor, and the one-liners riddled throughout the show kept the tone in the audience light and provoked scattered chuckles from those in attendance.

Something that I appreciated was that the set of ‘A Christmas Carol’ was constantly in motion, which helped the audience better understand where the characters were as they jumped from the many locations of Scrooge’s past, present, and future. Curtains with images of scenery on them would be pulled out so that other scene changes could happen behind them, allowing each scene to flow easily into one another.

As Scrooge realized the error of his ways and decided to embody the kindness of the Christmas Spirit, the final performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ came to a close. The audience applauded and cheered during the curtain call, and almost everyone was smiling as they left the theater and headed towards the lobby.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. It was so easy to like because every single actor seemed to be fully invested in the telling of the story and portrayed their character from start to finish, no matter how big or small their role was. This show definitely made me feel more in the Holiday spirit, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a well put together show with a great message and good acting.

I know it may be a hassle to take time out of your busy Holiday schedule to see this show, but to those who are hesitant about seeing: don’t be a Scrooge and make sure to put this show on your radar next time it comes to Iowa State’s campus.