November 5, 2009 |
There are four ghosts in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," but most movie versions have downplayed the story's pee-your-pants potential. That changes with "Disney's A Christmas Carol," a Robert Zemeckis animated movie that uses the latest 3-D and computer-graphic artistry to bring up the scare quotient in Dickens' classic story. If you're Marley's ghost, you haven't rattled chains until you've thrust them forth from a 3-D screen, held them in front of some kid's face and shaken them in 60-channel IMAX sound.
December 4, 2007 |
Charles Dickens' public readings of his long story "A Christmas Carol" were wildly popular; he could, apparently, hold thousands of people spellbound: no props, no costumes; nothing but his voice to bring all the characters to life. Mum Puppettheatre's production - a reprise of last year's - has some wonderful puppet/props and certainly smaller audiences, but it's no less enthralling than the 19th-century show must have been. The familiar story - cleverly and economically adapted by playwright Bruce Graham - begins, as it always does, with old Ebenezer ("Bah, humbug")
November 21, 2006 |
This time of year, productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol stud the landscape like hunks of candied orange peel on a fruitcake. Much like the ubiquitous holiday dessert, those productions often end up sodden relics of a tradition that began with the best of intentions but became dreaded byproducts of seasonal tyranny. In Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge has reverted to his holiday-hating self, and the three ghosts, plus Scrooge's former business partner, Jacob Marley, are now on trial for kidnapping, breaking and entering, and other offenses related to that fateful night exactly one year earlier, when Scrooge discovered his Christmas spirit.
December 19, 2003 |
In the decidedly non-Dickensian introductory scene of the adaptation of A Christmas Carol Mum Puppettheatre is presenting, one puppet character mentions to another that death has a part in the play to come. Eerie music then fills the theater, and two spectral figures suddenly appear. "That's a bit odd," one puppet says, and the remark could well describe the script by local playwright Bruce Graham and the puppet theater's presentation of the perennially popular Charles Dickens holiday story.
December 17, 2001 |
Every year, Bill Beyer's frock coat - actually, a college roommate's old overcoat - pulls a bit tighter across his shoulders. Every year, Beyer declares that this surely will be the year the seams split. But there he was all the same not long ago, coat still intact, standing before his audience and telling of a long-ago fatality. "Marley was dead, to begin with," he said. "There was no doubt whatever about that. " So began his 26th year acting as the narrator, Charles Dickens.
December 15, 2000 |
Who is better to serve as our guide and narrator of the magical transformation of the miserly Scrooge than Gonzo in The Muppet Christmas Carol? And you would have to go back to Alastair Sim and the definitive 1951 A Christmas Carol to find a more richly satisfying Scrooge than Michael Caine. Apart from negotiating Scrooge's transformation from world-class Yulephobe to Mr. Geniality with masterly aplomb, Caine manages to keep a straight face in scenes where Kermit the Frog is playing Bob Cratchit and begging him for an extra shovel of coal.
February 1, 1995 |
Five days before Christmas I found a Christmas card for my grandson - a large card with Santa Claus on it and an accordion-like pull-out which unmasked row after row of reindeer. It seemed just the thing for a 2 1/2-year- old. I signed the card. The envelope was bulky, so I weighed it on my postal scale. The card pushed the outer limit of an ounce, but didn't cross the line to two ounces. I put a 29-cent stamp on it, and mailed it at our local post office, which is in the same ZIP code as my grandson's home.
December 21, 1994 |
Home for the holidays? If you're in the restaurant business, chances are that "home" is the restaurant, because December is one of the busiest months at many places, says Joette M. Adams, executive director of the Philadelphia-Delaware Valley Restaurant Association. "We're packed," says Jane Marie Hill, a manager at the Dickens Inn on Head House Square, where the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future seem to be everywhere - hovering over the wooden tables, slipping playfully through the garland that is everywhere, perching on the brick mantels in the upstairs Pickwick Room.
December 16, 1994 |
If you know John Astin from his role as Gomez in The Addams Family television show, you won't recognize him on the stage of the Merriam Theater, where he is starring in A Christmas Carol. The makeup Astin wears to play the elderly Ebenezer Scrooge pretty much obscures the actor's familiar features. And judging from his performance, that's just the way Astin wants it. He obviously wants the audience to see the character rather than the actor playing him. He creates a very credible Scrooge and shows in the process that, though he may be best-known from appearing on television, he is also a stage actor with presence and authority.
December 15, 1994 |
Using only the words of Charles Dickens, Pascual Vaquer has adapted the classic tale, A Christmas Carol, for the stage. His original production, presented by the Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts, will make its debut this weekend. "I have kept all the 19th-century language. Every line of dialogue was written by Dickens," said Vaquer, of Solebury, who also is directing the play. "It has a wonderful sound to it, and it's perfectly understandable to the modern ear. " The story of the miserly Scrooge, who is transformed after visits from a series of ghosts on Christmas Eve, will be performed tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday at the Phillips Mill Community Association Theatre, which is on River Road about two miles north of New Hope.