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A Christmas Carol
a Play
CATEGORY :
by Charles Dickens

COMPANY : Rosewater Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cumming Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 1439

SHOWING : November 25, 2005 - December 17, 2005

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Join us for a Holiday Tradition. This Christmas you will be visited by three spirits. Find out how they changed one man's life forever. Based on a novel by Charles Dickens.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director G.S. Riley
Light & Sound Technician Deryl Cape
Stage Manager/Set Construction & Design Dan Rosewall
Stage Manager-Lights & Sound Sue Shaw
Costume Mistress Dena Voyles-Callahan
Musical Director/Pianist Susan Ahern
Topper Brian Baumann
Martha Cratchit Hillary Beck
Ghost of Christmas Past Dani Brillhart
Chorus Aundria Callahan
Ruth Allison Day
Mrs. Cratchit Cindy Dieckman
Young Scrooge III John Evans
Young Cratchit Kid McKenzie Ferguson
Dying Fan Katie Fox
Tiny Tim, Ignorance Ben Fox
Jacob Marley CG Garcia
Young Scrooge i, Caroling Boy, Turkey Bo Bobby Harrison
Peter Cratchit, Dick Noah Hill
Ghost of Christmas Past Sebastian Lewallen
Sam Wilson, Undertaker Todd Martin
Fred Clark Montoya
Ebeneezer Scrooge Bill Pacer
Narrator, Mr. Fezziwig G.S. Riley
Mrs. Fezziwig, Charwoman Cheryl Rogers
Young Scrooge 2 Mitch Rosewall
Ms. Dilber Kerry Rosewall
Mary Lauren Schmuck
Chorus Sloane Shaffer
Chorus Tina Shaw
Dick, Caroling Boy, Turkey Boy Connor Sherouse
Charity Woman #2 Melissa Simmons
Ghost of Christmas Present, Old Joe Paul Simmons
Chorus Gail Stewart
Young Belle Elizabeth Ashley Stewart
Young Fan Jessica Tyson
Young Cratchit Kid Madison Yarbrough
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Entertaining and Enjoyable!
by shfortman
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
4.0
I read the other review, which I thought seemed very fair but realized that we all enjoy shows for different reasons and see them in different ways. However, I do want to say that this is only MY personal and humble opinion of the show.

I saw the show this past Saturday evening with my husband and we both really enjoyed it and found it very entertaining. I am not technical by any means so can't comment on the technical aspects of the stage and lights. I was personally amazed though as to how the stage moved around and thought the lighting effects used were impressive.

There were times that I couldn't fully understand Scrooge but it didn't affect the overall performance he gave and I liked the way the actor played the part very much. The narrator seemed to do a good job the night I was there so maybe he slowed down. I enjoyed his ending narration though and thought it very apt and a wonderful conclusion (won’t spoil it for others). Overall, the whole cast seemed to do very well. I enjoyed most of the scenes. They changed so often, how could you get bored? I liked the way the actors used the aisles as it made me feel a part of the show. All three of the ghosts impressed me, (Future was my favorite). I have never seen the part of Christmas Past done by a child before and thought the young lady did a fine job and I could hear her quite well (I did see in the program that they were being played by 2 different girls so not sure who was playing the part that night).

Some of my favorite parts included but were not limited to the party scene/dancing, the Fezziwigs were hysterical and I would have liked to have seen more of them, the two couples – Fred, Mary, Ruth and Topper. I was impressed when I read in the program that the two ladies in those scenes were actually high school students. I thought that Mrs. Cratchit and Bob Cratchit both did an excellent job during their sad scenes as did all the children. Scrooge’s sister dying and the scene when Scrooge and Belle break up were both also very touching. I loved the Mrs. Dilber scene and the scene at Old Joes – both were very funny. Everyone did very well but my favorite part was Jacob Marley. Both my husband and I thought he was fantastic, loved the green light effect and thought he did an awesome job. (Much better job than Alec Guinness in the movie but like I said earlier – just MY personal opinion).

What I disliked the most was that the music before each part of the show was really long and although the carols were very well sang there were quite a lot them. For example at the beginning of the second act you sat in the dark for quite a long time and when the lights finally came up there was a carol sang by a young lady (who had a wonderful voice I hasten to add), but I just wanted the show to get started again. However, the lady sitting next to me commented on how she loved all the carols so who am I to complain. Like I said, we all enjoy shows for different reasons. I loved Carol of the Bells though and that was definitely my favorite carol.

The show we saw was approximately 2 hours and 15 mins long but there was a slightly late start and at least a 20 minute intermission. I thought the ticket price was reasonable but then we just had to pay for the two of us (our kids are grown and gone). I suppose for a family it could be a little pricey, however, the prices are not much different to other theaters in surrounding areas. I loved the show and think it is well worth seeing. As we were leaving the theater, all I could hear were positive comments from other audience members. Remember though, this is only MY personal opinion.

S. H. Fortman

P.S. I too will never look at the word ASSume quite the same again. I am definitely going to add that word to my repertoire.
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
About Half a Humbug!
by TheatreMaj
Monday, November 28, 2005
2.0
It's as inevitable as "Deck the Halls" by Mannheim Steamroller. It's the holiday season, and for the second straight year, Rosewater takes to the stage at the Cumming Playhouse with "A Christmas Carol," the venerable Charles Dickens classic that is woefully under public domain, meaning that adapters of this perennial masterpiece can pretty much do as they like without fear of reprisal (how else could Mr. Magoo have played Ebenezer Scrooge).

Rosewater should get kudos for some innovative work in their production. The revolving stage is a wonderful technique, used most impressively early in the show, as Scrooge enters his office seamlessly from the outside, while the set is in motion (certainly not as effortlessly as it seems). This economical use of the snug space provided at the Cumming Playhouse is heaven-sent, as the production requires twenty-two set changes.

My difficulty with the show is in the liberties it takes with the wonderful language of Dickens. William Pacer, who undoubtedly looks very much the role he has played for two straight seasons, uses the William Shatner approach to his line delivery, meaning that roughly twenty-percent of the dialogue is lost completely. He doesn't appear to understand the beauty and poetic use that Dickens has for the dialogue he has written. Pacer does show admirable restraint and compassion in certain scenes, most notably the death of Scrooge's sister and the breakup of his relationship with Belle, but sadly, his final confrontation with his tombstone is almost incomprehensible.

In addition, director G. Scott Riley blows through bookended narration of the story almost as though he's seeing these words for the first time. The first few paragraphs of "A Christmas Carol" are among the most lyrical expository preludes in all of English literature, but Riley glibly plows through them without even savoring the perfection of Dickens' word choices.

As sloppy as that is, Riley is perfection later in the show as the gleeful Fezziwig, complemented by Cumming theater veteran Cheryl Rogers as his wife. In this inspired sequence, the cast takes to the aisles of the theater to convey the merriment of the company Christmas party without detracting from the main event, which is Scrooge's betrothal to the fair Belle. The young actors in this scene (whose names are sadly missing from theaterreview.com's website) are superb and understated.

Fine makeup and lighting contribute to the appearances of the spirits in the production, but Marley's Ghost appears to have one volume only, as he screams and shouts his entire contribution. The more memorable Marleys on stage and screen have made their marks by alternating sinister quiet with mournful agony. And his chains seem much fresher than the seven years that Marley has been dead.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is beautiful, but too soft spoken, and would have benefitted by a discreetly placed body mike. The Ghost of Christmas Present is a towering giant, and plays the role with aplomb, alternating merriment and grave disapproval at Scrooge and his recalcitrant behavior.

And the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a terrific creation, which I won't spoil here and is worth the price of admission. His introduction, however, is muted by an inappropriately placed musical interlude, one of many which serve to assist in the changing of scenes. While the "O Holy Night" duet is sweet and well-executed, it should have been placed elsewhere in the program.

Indeed, a few of the choral numbers, while welcome early in the show, could be whittled down, particularly in the ponderous last half of Act II, as Scrooge's redemption is played out about fifteen minutes too long, while musical interludes play between the scenes in the street, his nephew's home, and the office in the next morning.

Lighting, uniformly solid throughout the production, has a couple of problems. The initial appearance of Marley's ghost's face in Scrooge's doorknocker is quick, blurry and confusing, and Scrooge doesn't appear all that concerned.

Also, from the opening of the graveyard scene, the lights center stage clearly show Scrooge's name on the headstone. Scrooge and the spirit are stage left. When it finally comes time for the "big reveal," the light shines to highlight the name just as Scrooge collapses on the tombstone, blocking the name completely!

The play benefits from very strong supporting performances. Another name that stands out is John Spencer's, who is a strong Bob Cratchit, who could use a better barber. In fact, the entire Cratchit clan is a strong suit for the show.

Riley finally closes the two and a half hour show with a "literary license" that is unnecessary, and frankly jarring, which again I won't spoil for you here.

Consider "A Christmas Carol" carefully. I would strongly endorse it if the tickets were a tad cheaper, but I suspect that that was not a choice made by the production company. I would hope that Mr. Pacer and Mr. Riley would take another look at the language in the book prior to next year's production, and realize what a jewel it is. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
curious by birddog
Have you seen any other shows from Rosewater. i.e. Little Shop of Horrors. (if so what did you think)
thank you by asdf
I believe I speak for the cast of Christmas Carol, When I say thank you to Mr. Bill Wilson of Catco for the review. I am sure that the review was not biased in the least bit, due to the fact that you are a member of the rival theatre group in cumming, ga.

Again, thank you,

asdf
asdf by mark
very petty, asdf. when has a nearby community theater become 'the competition'? we aren't talking about capitalistic endeavors here. this is the arts. plus i thought mark's review was well written, constructive and fair.
Competition by Cavendish
Mark, I have to assume you are acquainted with both theaters and the writers. Your comment assumes that asdf was being sarcastic and perhaps he/she was. As an outsider I can read asdf's comments either way. And, yes, theaters do compete. They compete for the theater-going patrons discretionary income. They compete for pride. The best artists, in my opinion, work together to promote their art to the community. If artists don't compete to be the best then what are all those young wannabe actors doing in New York waiting on tables?
Cav... by mooniemcmoonster
Cometition is bunk, imo. As an artist you shouldn't be competing against other artists to see who's better...as was sort of implied by your post, at least that's how I read it. Those actors waiting tables in NYC are (or should be) trying to be the best THEY can be, not to be better than anyone else. You can't worry about what other people are doing. You have to go out and kick as much ass as you can and be the best artist that you can possibly be...not out of competition, but out of love for your art and your respect for the art and for yourself. That's my two cents.

As for asdf...funny how you automatically ASSume that its a competing theatre giving you a not-so-glowing review. The first thing you need to learn is to take constructive criticism gracefully and not inflate your own importance. Not everyone is out to sabatoge you.
to curious by luvtheatre
I saw their productions of "Nunsense" "Joseph" and "Little Shop." Thought they all were well done, enjoyable musicals. "Nunsense" was my favorite.
Rivalry by luvtheatre
The problem in Cumming is there are several theatre companies, but only one place to perform--the Cumming Playhouse, which is run by the City of Cumming. The companies are all competing for the same space and the City (good ole boys/girls with no theatrical experience) is pitting them against each other. The companies are all good people with similar goals of good community theatre, but the situation produces a competitiveness between them. It's craziness!
Competition, Moonie by Cavendish
I appreciate your point of view and I agree that an artists first responsibility is to be the best they can be. But your comment begs the question, "how do you become the best you can be?" The answer is you compete against the very best. Will you become a better actor if you hang out at the same theater with the same people? Maybe, but actors will improve if they compete against other actors with greater skills. BTW, competition can be synonmous with working side by side in the same production. One more thought. At an audition do you not compare yourself with others whether it's monologues or singing? Sure you do. It's only natural. And that's one way we learn and improve.
I have to agree by Donny
I saw Little Shop and thought it was great. The cast was very well rounded. The 10 foot plant was the star though. It looked huge on that stage. Seymour and Audrey had great voices and were perfect. Only problem I saw with the show was the dentist's mic kept going in and out during his death scene.

As far as other shows, can't tell you, but have heard that they really good.

I wonder why they have not been posting their shows on this site before now?
Patron Reviews by Hula Girl
For reviews specific to productions held at the Cumming Playhouse, post them on www.cummingplayhouse.com ! Vote in polls, create your own, etc.
I created the monster by Okely Dokely
To answer Donny's question, nothing of Rosewater's had been posted before because nobody bothered to create an entry for them on here in the past. Putting them on here was my doing. As Dave Matthews says: I did it, guilty as charged.

Also, the poster who refers to themself as "mark" made a reference to how he/she thought "mark's review" was good. In case anyone was confused, I didn't write the review. If it doesn't say Okely Dokely, it ain't me.
Hey everyone by asdf
Someone from Catco made a yahoo chatroom to talk about the Cumming Playhouse. Let's go and see it. We'll have a bitchin time. Yeah! Right on! (Somebody has too much time on there hands to make a yahoo room for the Playhouse.)
by MarvinMartian
Why the animosity towards CATCo? I don't get it.
Chill, Rosewater by MrMagoo
I've got to agree with MarvinMartian. I've been going to see shows in Forsyth County since years before there was a Cumming Playhouse - including adult and children shows at the Sawnee Center. Some good, some bad. I've also seen many shows at the Playhouse from several different companies. Some good, some bad. What I don't understand is the pettiness among some involved with this Rosewater production. I can only hope that these comments do not reflect the attitudes of their founders (Scott & Lisa Riley). The writer of the review wrote some very positive things, was very thorough in covering all aspects of the production, and then he/she gets savaged by someone holding a grudge against CATCo?

I've been an active theater patron from the Holly to the Fox, and I know several of the people that have performed in both CATCo and Rosewater productions. Cheryl Rogers and Steve Cook are both CATCo mainstays, yet they have performed in Rosewater shows, as have many other actors including Bill Pacer. And the whole argument seems moot - according to the Cumming Playhouse's website, CATCo doesn't have any shows scheduled for the Playhouse for all of 2006. Rosewater has only one - a repeat of A Christmas Carol. If there is a rivalry going on here, it appears to be one-sided. And petty.
in response to some comments pointed my way... by mark
i am not associated with catco or rosewater. just crying foul over asdf's petty sarcasm. regarding crediting the review to a mark, my bad. there’s a quirk in theaterreview where your name appears below the review you're commenting on. as there are so many of us marks (me being more gray than others, hint hint), i wrongly assumed the original review was written by a mark. sorry bout that theatremaj and okely.
asdf by WaylonWhite
Why don't you go whine to your psychiatrist and ask for some more pills to calm down that incessant, annoying, and worthless brain of yours? Take some criticism, you socially retarded heathen. That prescription should be free at the local pharmacy. From now on, maybe you should let "jkl;" do the typing for you, because you're not making an effective effort.
Funny by Donny
As an outsider as well (Little Shop being the only show I've seen at this venue), I find that there are quite a bit of ASSuming going on.

I believe that it was very stupid for ASDF to assume that just because TheatreMaj gave a low grade of a review that ASDF ASSumed it was someone from CATCO.

I also believe that it is stupid to ASSume that ASDF is from Rosewater.

I seriously doubt that theatre owners get involved with this kind of rubish. They have better things to do...like run a company.

For all we know ASDF and TheatreMaj are the same person. It's stupid.

I have not seen this show so I cannot rate on it. But I can rate on all the responses.

Ya'll got too much time on your hands. I find it humorus that the reviewer gets attacked, then the attacker gets attacked, and so on and so forth. It's a never ending cycle that has been created.

As far as any rival things going on in Cumming or with any theater companies I have to agree with Mr. Magoo...If members of Catco perform with Rosewater and members of Rosewater perform with Catco...how can they be rivals? It sounds more like they get along to me.

So whoever ASDF is, sounds like they just want the two companies to get into a fight. But like I said, if everyone is using fake names here, how do we know who is who.

I say, Who cares. I mean come on. There is only about 2 or 3 people on this site that I think that really review shows well. Everything else I find is a fluke. I don't take this site seriously. Who does? I see a bunch of people that love to attack and ASSume. That's why I don't review anything.

I see that everyone who has desided to put their 2 cents worth and make comments are doing nothing, but ASSuming on who said what about who. When nobody know who's who. See the stupidity.

I saw Little Shop it rocked.
Anybody want to be childish and attack me?





well.... by Nettie
one thing is for sure, I will never look at the word "assume" the same way ever again... :)
Thought I Fill In... by LitzyDitzy97
The names of Scrooge and Belle in the betrothal scene are Mitch Rosewall (Scrooge) and Elizabeth Stewart (Belle)
Stop the pitting...and I don't mean Olives by jegoldston
Hello everyone, I am *legally* still the owner of CATCo, though I resigned from the company in August...so I guess I do have some time to comment:
I've noticed over the past 2yrs that some people do TRY pit companies against eachother on this site. CATCo has been a theatre company that values it's shows, just as Rosewater & others do; But this doesn't mean that anyone from CATCo, for CATCo, or by CATCo goes around making derogitory comments about other companies. Like was said before, if members of CATCo are auditioning and performing with the other companies,....hmmmm... gosh, sounds like someone is just plain upset with CATCo and trying to pit them against the others. Give it a rest. BTW, CATCo mainstage has gone dark, by decision of the remaining board in September -happy?. The Cumming Playhouse, run by the Don't-know-how-theatre-works-City of Cumming, is a money-hole for theatre companies... I, for one, know that we (theatre companies using that venue) were/are all in the same sinking boat. Enjoy your holidays & go see A Christmas Carol - several friends of mine (and of CATCo) are in it.
I guess I stand corrected by Donny
It looks as though there are some theatre owners that have time to involve themselves in this rubbish.

But I do agree, I don't see where there would be a rival between the two theatre groups.

As far as the City stuff and CATCO's financial situation I don't know anything about that and frankly is none of our buisness.

Like I said before, who actually takes this site seriously? I see it more as entertainment more then anything.
Donny by tylers
Donny, no truer words were ever written.

Tyler Schaker


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