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A Christmas Carol
a Drama

COMPANY : Cobb Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 827

SHOWING : November 28, 2003 - December 27, 2003



Spectre, Marley, Ghost Chris Camillo
Cast Rachael Eblen
Cast Olivia Harlow
Bob Crachit Jerry Harlow
Mrs. Fezziwig Katy Harlow
Cast Cassie Harlow
Cast Sadie Harlow
Tiny Tim Jimmy Hodges
Ghost of Christmas Present Lani Leach Brooks
Cast Shawn Loflin
Cast Abby Maraugus
Cast Cheri Mattox
Cast Becca Mattox
Cast Bob Mattox
Cast Alex Mercuri
Scrooge Randy Randolph
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


A Christmas to remember
by Amoore
Monday, December 22, 2003
I am glade to see that many people have given Cobb Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” good reviews.
I too saw the show on Saturday night and I must say I was thrilled to see the energy that most of the actors put into their characters and the production.
To start the evening off, I thought it was a nice rendition of the play. There were many comedic moments in the show. I didn’t expect that to happen, but it was a nice surprise. The Fezziwig party scene was hilarious, I laughed when Mrs. Fezziwig (Cheri Maddox) came dashing from behind the curtain in her party dress with flowers in her red hair. I immediately thought of the show “I Love Lucy” and Lucy trying to get in on the action. It is a scene that will keep you guessing what will happen next.
I thought that Scrooge (Randy Randolph) was good with his character, but I felt as though he was anxious to get his lines out. Never the less, he did a wonderful job in his role.
But the scene that really set it off for me was the young Scrooge/Belle scene.
Shawn Loflin and Rachel Eblen played the parts brilliantly. The chemistry that the two of them have together on stage is invaluable. It was a very heart felt moment when I heard the words coming from Scrooge’s quivering lips, “I love you”. And seeing the emotions and tears that filled the eyes of someone that was losing the love of their life was a vision that stuck in my mind throughout the remainder of the show. I certainly hope that the two of them continue to do shows together, because I will be there to watch it.
I must say, even though there weren’t as many props and the caroling wasn’t as extravagant, I personally thought and felt it was better than the Alliance Theater’s version. I highly recommend and urge you to go see Cobb Playhouse’s version of “A Christmas Carol”.
just a note by keira
its Cheri Mattox
by reviewlady
Monday, December 15, 2003
After seeing the reviews that many have written about Cobb Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol, I had to go see for myself what all the controversy was about.
To my pleasant surprise, I thought it was an excellent show.
Sure there were some timing issues, like the long scene changes and a few missed lines, but all in all I was very impressed.

The high light of the show for me was when Younger Scrooge (played by Shawn Loflin) and Belle (played by Rachel Eblen) broke up. The emotions that filled the stage between the two of them were something that you would see from a professional actor or something that you would expect from a Broadway show. It was heart wrenching for me to see his facial expressions as Belle walked away from him. It was almost as if Shawn was really going through the emotions and feelings himself. I have seen many shows at the playhouse and I never expected an amateur actor to cry on stage.
I also enjoyed the party scene at the Fezziwig’s house. The comical timing of Mr. Fezziwig (Bob Mattox) and Dick Wilkins (Jerry Harrlow) during their sword fighting scene were priceless.

There were so many things that I enjoyed about this production and I am sorry if name weren’t mentioned. You all should be proud of this show, because you are all doing a wonderful job.
I would certainly recommend this show to anyone that wants a quiet evening away from the big city hassle.
On The Other Hand
by Galore
Monday, December 8, 2003
I attended this show on Saturday the fifth of December--the eight pm performance. Having read the reviews posted here and knowing the quality of this director's work from past productions I was not anticipating a good show. Last year's "Christmas Carol" at the Cobb Playhouse was excellent, so there was a lot to measure up to in this production.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The continuity apparently is improving, and I noticed no off-key voices this evening. I did not like the Christmas carol scene-change aspect at all; it appeared to strain the actor's voices over the evening. There are many choices for scene change music that could have been incorporated with a little care and time. There did not appear to be any sound effects and the lighting was not exciting. Slapping a blue gel on one light does not a lighting scheme make.

I was very impressed by the ghosts, save one. The winsome, capering first Past was charming. Good voice. The second Past seemed full of teenage angst which I thought was a nice touch. I wish the grown-up Past had more verve.
The female Christmas present (Lani Brooks) was a true earth mother. She portrayed the character with an earthy richness that was refreshing in its difference. Sassy and sexy, the looks and aside comments she gave Scrooge were well-timed. Christmas Yet To Come was chilling and perfectly cast, as were Camillo's other roles. The comedic turn he took as Plum showed that he does have the acting chops.

Randy Rudolph reprised the role from last year and has mellowed into it well. Last year was good--this year was stellar. Hats off to Mr. Rudolph.
For the most part the acting was good. In particular, I enjoyed the comical, subservient, downtrodden but never down Bob Crachit, the incandescent Rachael Eblen, the voices of the caroling children (Alex Mercuri especially), Shawn Loflin as the young adult Scrooge, Bob Mattox, particularly as the guest at Fred's house and Victoria whose seems very much at home on the stage.

The costumes were erratic--some were very good and some looked too thrown together. Attention to the smaller details like shoes and outside wear when doing outside scenes would have helped. These things are important to theatre-goers. As it was, during the party scene at Fred's, all I could focus on were the sandals on one of the guests’ feet.

Set changes appeared to be picking up--the entire cast seemed to be working together to insure smooth transitions. Care should have been taken when choosing set pieces however to ease the time it took. One longer table for the Crachit home would have been better than two. Minimalist sets require much more work than most people think and time should be taken pre-production to work out the kinks. The first weekend is not the time to straighten all that stuff out. A stage manager is absolutely necessary to do this--and not somebody who is assigned to the position, but somebody who has contracted to do that job and that job only. Anything else is slap-dash money-saving measures and it shows in the end product.

And, I suppose, in a nutshell, the end product is what all the brouhaha is about. The actors can do everything in their power to learn their lines, moves, interactions, etc, but if they are stymied by the director/producer it will show. Good actors can make a badly done show passable and sometimes entertaining and that is what has happened in this case. There was obviously not enough time or care or thought put into the show before it debuted and it took a while to work it out. Worked out it has, and the actors in this show should be very proud of the show they have pulled off. They say adversity makes you closer and stronger. The travails these guys have gone through to bring this show to the stage will be lasting memories for them.

Don’t miss this show.
Name by gwavar
Just a note: Randy's name is Randolph, not Rudolph.
s/boc office mrg, cps
Ppssst.... the best-kept secret this season... here it is!
by gale_harold
Sunday, December 7, 2003
Imagine my surprise as I anticipate authoring the first review of Little General’s Christmas Carol and instead find a mysterious volume of pre-existing banter and negative criticism. How ironic, as Little General dishes out a marvelously fun and engrossingly entertaining production that I believe is a must-see for all this holiday season.

Now I’m not saying this show is perfect or anything above what is expected from a solid community theater. And I admit I’m overcompensating my rating based on the baloney I find below. Problems include a noticeably absent stage manager, musical director, and costume director; dreadfully slow gaps between scenes; and lackluster Christmas Caroling. But don’t get me wrong. This is an outstandingly entertaining show, specifically due to a superb ensemble of community theater actors (no easy doing, trust me!).

Highlighted by a perfect-pitch performance by Scrooge, an upstart collection talented children and parents bring forth a tremendous gift of holiday spirit. Specifically, the young Scrooge and girlfriend Belle demonstrate tender vulnerability and compassion – a quality missing from most Atlanta-area amateur actors. Equally strong include a comedic Cratchett and his warm family; a terrifically spooky Ghost of Marley (and Christmas Future!); a most assured (and female!) Christmas Present; a totally adorable Tiny Tim; and best of all a delightful cast of children that is highlighted by a delightfully innocent and lovable child-manifestation of the Ghost of Christmas Past (I cannot tell by the program who she is!).

Yet it is the performance of Ebenezer Scrooge himself that makes this show a minor miracle. Exceptional depth of character proves Randy Randolph shoulder-to-shoulder the superior representation of his Scrooge counterparts on stage this season (and perhaps the best since Tom Key). Why thousands will pay handsomely to go downtown and unknowingly avoid the best Scrooge in town is beyond me.

Ppssst. I know why. The best-kept secret this season is Randy Randolph. And the most fun Christmas Carol in Atlanta can be found in a lowly strip mall far northeast of the city.
Good God...
by starringjunker
Sunday, December 7, 2003
Good God we are some fiesty people at Cobb Playhouse!!! What has the world come to when us actors began fighting over the internet, let alone!!! Ahhh!! Let me first of all start off by saying, that I have worked with many/most of you and think your all GODS GIFT TO THE ACTING WORLD! Ha i'm kidding but no you are all very nice people, and I enjoy working with you all.Now as far as this Christmas Carol stuff is concerned Ms. HOT Kat (no lie, I love Kat) is defintly intitled to her own opition and I would have to agree that some directors at Cobb Playhouse are very hard to work with. But then again there are always hard directors to work with in the acting world. There are also always inexpirenced little kids who don't know how to project and have no idea what a givin circumstance is nor have any clue what the 12 Guidepost are. I too get fustrated, when my scene partner stares into the lights and states to the director that the lights are "too pretty and distract me from my work". But then I look at the child and remind myself that this is community theatre. This IS how that little kid gets her expirence so they can one day hopefully go into the big world and step foot on the Alliance Theatre Stage. Its how I got my expirence and became a "big girl". I go to Cobb Playhouse because I love the people, the directors are decent, and for the most part the acting is good. But then again I'm also only 18 years old, still stuck in high school, so what do I know? [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
we all liked Kat by keira
We all liked Kat but she was so cocky about how bad we were and everyone makes mistakes. Even Kat. She also lied to us saying I quote"I didn't mean that part about you all it was an accident". In my opinion that was a big accident because she did it more than once. Right now people in the playhouse are very upset. Kat is a wonderful actress but people have feelings and so does Kat but that was a very unfeeling thing that she did.
Leave out the bitterness
by butercup
Friday, December 5, 2003
I have seen Cobb's versionn of a Christmas Carol and, though I must say it wasn't the best production, it definately wasn't the worst. I thought that Randy Randolph (as Scrooge) and Chris Camillo (in several parts) were outstanding, and many of the kids were wonderful as well. After reading the other reviews I am agast at the pure bitterness I read. When you're in a show you are biased and have no right to review it. If you have a problem with the show you're in, do something about it or leave. Doing it, then writing a horrible review about it, where you say that you are the only good one, makes you look very bad. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Hold on a tic... by keira
Would you look at us? Thank you, Buttercup, for reminding us that for all the wrong that can befall a play, the focus should be on what goes right. It also means supporting our fellow actors within the public spotlight. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us; I am thankful to be working with a great group of actors. One should be grateful for the opportunities given rather than spitting in one's own soup. After all, this play is about the spirit of generosity and good will for the rich and poor alike. That goes for acting, English accents, and the lot. I am disappointed that an actor from our camp would warn the public away from a performance that is, for most of us, a wonderful experience. What can we learn from this very play about the human experience...and at Christmas, no less.
Christmas Carol
by katydid23
Wednesday, December 3, 2003
I am actually in this show. I am Mrs. Cratchit and I have to agree with the critic. I know that it's not normal for a cast member to down their own show, but under the circumstances that we have had to work with....I FULLY AGREE. I have been in several shows and I have never worked with a director more inept than ours was. He has no sense of flow. The most that he did was yell at us and tell us that we didn't know what we where doing, when infact, he changed the blocking even up to the day before the show opens. I agree with this critic in the fact that there were very few actors in the show that were good. However, we are only as good as our director. Several of us have tried to pull the show together with lots of effort, but unfortunatly due to Mr. Christians direction and "vision" it was nearly impossible. I do say that you should not come see this show, unless you know someone in it. It is not worth waisting your money on seeing it. Sorry to say that, but it's the truth. Good call on the critics part. The only thing I disagree with is the lack of accents. I myself had a very good english accent, but that's only one person out of 24 or 25. Guess it didn't make an impression. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Didn't see C.C., but here's some thoughts on Cobb by Travesty
Funny that THIS year C.C. at Cobb gets a review. (I wonder where this critic was last year, we could've used him.) I was in last years show (which got great off-stage comments from the crowd), and it was a ton of fun. I'm sure Randy did a great job again this year, as did Shawn and Kat (who I've also worked with before). However, I'd have to agree that, in general, shows at Cobb suffer from the same problems: low production budget, little to no money to get a talented director, and young/inexperienced actors. Until Cobb can solve the first two problems, the talented and experienced will probably stay away. Bottomline is just because you can cast Johnny and Suzy and get their family to fill your seats doesn't mean that's all you shoot for. In order to improve this theatre's reputation, good productions have to be seen by people outside the immediate family of the cast.
*plunks 2 cents*
i am in the play by keira
I think Kat that if you don't enjoy working with great talented people get out!!!!!! I do not think that you should be dissing John on the internet. I think it is very very rude of you to shine the spotlight on yourself like you did when actually compared to other people you have a very small role. I am very disappointed in what you have been saying about the cast and very angry. The faith I once had in you now is diminished. I don't think you should have the privilege or honor of ever being seen at another play at the playhouse. Tonight you covered yourself real well but now everyone knows that you have lied and you should be ashamed to diss people on the internet like you have. By the way your English accent is no better than anyone elses.I am very unhappy with your attitude problem.
Now Kat by keira
You should remember through your head full of blasphemies and lies that a critic is only one person. Many people who have come have been coming out laughing and singing Christmas carols so i must remind you that just because one person says something does'nt mean the whole group will follow.
One of the bad actors..... by Rebel
I am one of the bad actors in the Christmas Carol according to Kat. I play Mr. Beadle, Mr. Fezziwig and Mr. Randolph. It is good to know what one of our fellow actors has to say about her cast of colleagues. It is unfortunate that Kat does not possess the courage to tell us to our face but uses a cowardly way to impugn the integrity of the other actors in the play (other than her buddies of course). Her narcisstic rant, informing the theater going public that her performance is somehow superior to others just goes to show that she is self absorbed and a threat to the success of any theater production and not just this one. Some of the actors in this theater are working hard to learn the skill of acting. We are fortunate to have a place to learn a new skill or to hone those things we have learned. Kat's comments regarding the poor acting can be discouraging to new and young actors who are trying to learn how to be actors. Kat,for shame, for shame, for shame! It is great to have a place for our young people to practice the trade of acting. Just to let you know, unlike you, I will be saying all of this to your face at the first opportunity and I won't be running around telling people lies about what I wrote.
If you don't have anything nice to say...
by Okely Dokely
Saturday, November 29, 2003
...then you mention the good things about a show, as few and far between as they may be - though I must say that the good things I mention are just that: good and not great. Nothing about this production blew me away in the least, but on to the positive aspects. First off, there's Randy Randolph's performance as Scrooge. He wasn't the best Scrooge I've ever seen (I've been very spoiled and have seen people like Tom Key play Scrooge), but I've seen Scrooges at better theaters than the Cobb Playhouse who were worse. And finally, there was Chris Camillo in his chilling portrayals of the Narrator, Jacob Marley, and the Ghost of Christmas Future, among other characters. The show opens with Camillo standing on a platform on Stage Left in partial light eerily delivering the oh-so-familiar "Marley was dead" prologue. The platform was a detail I liked. At least, I think it was a platform. I forgot to walk over during intermission and look at it, but it is not visible from most of the house, and gives the illusion that whoever is standing on it is suspended in mid-air, which was a very cool effect.

And.......that's the end of my short list of things I liked about Cobb Playhouse and Studio's "A Christmas Carol." In a production with out-of-key singing (even though it was all unison), little to no British accents at all, set changes that took forever, cast members far from in character, and missed entrances pretty badly covered, those few things mentioned above served as a pretty satisfying oasis amid a desert of a production that was, on the whole, very Little and General. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
I agree...almost by katydid23
I already made a comment in the review section, but let me restate myself in saying something. I myself, am in this show. Kat, I played Mrs. Cratchit. Let me say that I agree almost completely with this critic. There is a lot...A LOT that should have been done to this show. We as actors, tried our hardest to pull a great show together, but our director had his "vision" and wouldn't listen when we begged him to let us postpone the show. He is an inept director and I wish that I had never done the show. The cast has worked hard and has almost walked out several times. What the critic saw was a great show, compaired to the shows we had been having. It's hard to believe, but it's true. Mr. Christian, shouldn't be allowed to direct anywhere in town! I myself can only say that amoungst the bad acting there were a few good actors. I believe that Shawn Loflin {as Fred} and Rachael Eblen as {Belle} did well with what they had to work with. I agree that Scrooge {Randy} was good and I have to say that I feel that I have done a good job, again, with what I have had to work with. Anyway, basically I know that it's not the greatest, show and I wouldn't see it unless you know someone in it, but give us a break. A cast is only as good as it's director.


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