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A Christmas Carol

by Written by Charles Dickens

COMPANY : Alliance Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Woodruff Art Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 2571

SHOWING : November 30, 2007 - December 24, 2007



The most lavish and spectacular holiday extravaganza in Atlanta! Full of soaring holiday music and jaw-dropping special effects, A Christmas Carol is a Broadwayscale musical spectacle featuring the best actors and singers in Atlanta. Whether you are coming for the first time or as part of your family annual holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol will dazzle your eyes and warm your heart.

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by Dedalus
Friday, December 7, 2007
In her introductory notes to the 2007 edition of the Alliance Theatre’s extravagant (and extravagantly well-done) edition of “A Christmas Carol” (David Bell’s adaptation of the Dickens classic), Susan Booth talks about Traditions, and asks us to share some of our own End-of-the-Year Traditions. You may think, as a crotchety old Atheist, my traditions would involve going to work in the counting house or kicking a beggar or two. As fun as that sounds, you’d be wrong.

Last year, I may have inadvertently started my own critical tradition by discussing “A Christmas Carol” in a snarky, pseudo-intellectual tone without talking about the story itself. My attitude then (and now) is this is a story everyone knows, and either likes or doesn’t like, and Alliance has been doing this version so long, it’s a play everyone knows, and either likes or doesn’t like. Last year, I discussed the influence “Star Wars” had on Dickens’ story.

This year, I thought I’d discuss the story in terms of the so-called “War on Christmas.” But I soon realized that, by criticizing the conflation of faith and politics, I’d soon be indulging in the very rhetorical gladiatorism I’m supposedly denouncing.

I then thought I’d scour the web for critical reactions to Dickens’ story over the past century and a half. But I soon realized it would just be a self-indulgent collage of writers who are probably better (and more insightful) than myself.

My next tactic was to discuss the Christian aspects of the story, and how what are described as “Christian values” can (In my humble opinion) be more accurately described as “Human values,” since they seem to transcend culture, time, and even faith. But I soon realized that “my humble opinion” is so far outside the Baptist-centric Georgia mainstream it would be like … well, I don’t know what it would be like, but you probably wouldn’t like it.

I suppose I could also regurgitate last year’s pseudo-review, and descend into my traditional Lucasgeek oversimplifications. But, I’ve already copy-and-pasted prior pseudoreviews this year (and probably will again when I see “Santaland Diaries” in a few weeks).

My final decision is to follow Ms. Booth’s lead and talk about the Christmas traditions of Chez Dedalus. In a nutshell, I love the secular aspects of the Holiday (and cherish its pagan roots), my more devout spouse and spawn love the religious aspects, we overindulge each other with buying more than we can afford (thus fulfilling our patriotic duty to bolster the economy), and we spend the New Year break in a whirlwind visit to our kinfolk in Pennsylvania. Our tree is a gaudy display of lights and ornaments accumulated over thirty years (one of my bachelor habits that survived my marriage was the acquisition of new ornaments every year), and our house is (or will be – I’m a bit late this year) an explosion of eave-hanging icicle lights and shrub-hugging colored lights. We get up at 0-Dark-Hundred hours on the 25th for unwrapping and playing. My wife takes over the kitchen and makes her delectable Beef Wellington. And we take more pictures than anyone could ever see in a lifetime. If this list sounds a bit cynical, the reality isn’t. Christmas always brings out the little kid in us, and we love all the stories associated with it (Secular, Religious, Dickensian, and Historical-Rootsian).

And, now, I can add enjoying the Alliance’s “Holiday Gift to Atlanta.” This is my fourth foray into Kayser-Scrooge-land, and every trip seems to get better and better. The pace is better every year, Mr. Kayser is better every year, and the warm feelings it generates are better every year. Set and tech are on a fairly even keel, but, since they started out at such a High Level, that’s fine by me.

This seems to be becoming a Tradition worth sharing. I’ll suspect I’ll cherish it more with each passing year.



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