A Ghost Story of Christmas – Alley Theater’s A Christmas Carol

by Gabi De la Rosa on December 1, 2016 in Entertainment, Theatre, Living Texas, Houston,
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50 pounds of confetti, 14 snow machines 240 pounds of dry ice and 27 wigs are just the beginning of the stunning visual effects in the Alley Theater’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” In its 29th season, the play is just as exciting and relevant today as when it began.

(L-R) Chris Hutchison as Bob Cratchit, Jay Sullivan as Fred and Jeffrey Bean as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Photo by John Everett.
(L-R) Chris Hutchison as Bob Cratchit, Jay Sullivan as Fred and Jeffrey Bean as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Photo by John Everett.

A Christmas Carol is a treat for the whole family. Young children will be delighted by the costumes, lighting and music. Older kids and teens will be entranced by the ghosts and story of redemption and compassion as Ebenezer Scrooge slowly evolves throughout the play. The makeup and costumes throughout the production are stunning and add to the richness of the production, which takes place in 19th century England. The ghosts are especially visually arresting, so much so that I was a bit worried that my youngest child would be scared, but their appearances throughout the play are punctuated by other cast members which softens their would be scariness.

James Black, the director of “A Christmas Carol” has not only directed the play since 2007, but he acted in it as well since 1993.

The Company in the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Photo T. Charles Erickson.
The Company in the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Photo T. Charles Erickson.

“It’s a wonderfully rich and rewarding experiences to be involved with this production each Christmas. Its themes resonate stronger with each subsequent holiday season. It’s a rare thing to have this kind of continuity in the theater with a particular play. This has been a part of my holiday tradition for more than 25 years now. Luckily, it’s a story that grows with you, that reveals a bit more each passing year.”

The Alley Theater’s ensemble cast does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. Jeffery Bean is fantastic as Ebenezer Scrooge in his 23rd season with the Alley Theater. Melissa Pritchett is also a standout in this production as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Her costumes were a favorite of my children – she is one of the only characters to have brightly colored costumes and her appearances on stage are punctuated with a lot of snow and confetti, which children will love as well.  Children will also find it interesting that younger children are part of the production. Most do not have speaking parts, but they play an important role in telling the story.

If you haven’t been to the newly renovated Hubbard Theater, now is the perfect opportunity. The Alley Theater is transformed into a winter wonderland with beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout the lobby areas. The trees and other Christmas decoration only enhance the production, getting everyone in the Christmas spirit.

“I was very excited to remount this production in the new Hubbard Theater last year. There is a new energy and intimacy in that room that I’m certain will only enhance the audience’s experience with this timeless and most human of stories,” said Black.

Take the whole family, out of town guests and friends to see “A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas” which will be playing at the Alley Theater through December 29th. For tickets or more information, visit www.alleytheater.org.

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