Groups collaborate to present holiday favorite 'A Christmas Carol'
Well, it's not the standard "Christmas Carol," but it features some the familiar characters like Scrooge, Marley's Ghost, Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Fezziwig.
Actually, it is a show about the past productions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by Greg Gasman of KG Entertainment. Gasman wrote a script and titled it on the program as "Gasman's Recollection." He gathered together many of the actors from past productions set in different time periods and youngsters who auditioned for this show. Gasman kept the musical director the same, Karen Bradley, with accompanist Wayne Hoff and added a guitar player Matt Osberg. This all adds up to a re-enactment of scenes from Gasman's past renditions of the standard and not-so-standard "Christmas Carol."
The performance features a divided stage; present day children with narrator Gasman and Christmas Present Sara Breeze are on stage right, and on stage left are the recollected scenes.
There are three performances left in this run at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-11 at the historic Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students and are available now at Harmony Natural Food Co-op, The Wild Hare Bistro, Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and at the door. There was a problem wiuth the heat at the Chief Theatre last week, but heat is back on, so it will be toasty warm again.
Mark Fulton plays Scrooge, who battles his conscience throughout the play with scenes with Al Berkowitz, whose gravelly voice lends credence to Marley's ghost, and Kari Munson as Christmas Past. She sings "River" by Joni Mitchell to Scrooge accompanied by Osberg, a plaintive song with lyrics to remind Scrooge what he lost and left behind in his youth.
Wendy Greenberg joined her husband Mark Fulton and their children Lily, who plays Martha, and Joshua, who is little Scrooge, as Mrs. Crow. Mrs. Crow leads the chorus of children and adults in a heartwarming rendition of a Hanukah song sung in Spanish. The Hamrim girls, Sadie and Sarah, pay a reel on their violins for the party goers at Mike Harden's Fezziwig Christmas party. A rousing rendition of "Save the Bones for Henry Jones" by Berit Dybing (Young Present) and Sara Breeze (Old Present) closes the first act.
The children on the set of a Christmas living room decorated with a lighted tree and stockings hanging on the fireplace range from a toddler to middle schoolers from local public and charter schools. Dwayne and Mary Knox Johnson and Cheryl Winnett have done their magic again as set designers, builders and costumers. The lighting design is by Kelly Kirk with Andor Lofthus. Kirin Peterson painted the set. The Rogers Family members are the house and stage managers. There is one 15 minute intermission, and refreshments will be available for purchase.
This will be the last KG production of "A Christmas Carol," as Gasman is turning over future productions to Bemidji Community Theater that has supported this offering along with the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.
A complete listing of the cast may be seen online at Staff Blogs on the home page of bemidjipioneer.com. Scroll down to Bemidji Arts News or go to bemidjiarts.areavoices.com.