Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Carol at the Hale Theater

As part of Ellie's participation in the 4H program, our family received free tickets to our local theater's annual production of, "A Christmas Carol." It's "theater in the round" which always makes things a little more interesting. We've gone to a number of performances there and are usually tucked in a little corner or upper row (there aren't more than 8 rows on any side, though, so it's not a big deal), but for this performance, we were on the front row!

The evening started with one of the cast members coming out and welcoming us. They showed some ornaments they had that you could purchase and help raise funds for the theater and then hyped some of the 2010 shows, including 110 in the Shade with a special performance with Audra McDonald. He asked if anyone knew who she was and I volunteered that she was a Broadway star. He followed up by asking if I knew how many Tonys she had one, to which I replied, "4." I ended up receiving one of the ornaments just for knowledge of who she was and what she's done. The kids were thrilled!

And then it was to start the show. When you are in the front row, the cast and props are RIGHT in front of you. The actors are RIGHT in front of you, too. The part where Scrooge sees Marley in the door knocker was really well done and scared the bejeebers out of the girls and Griffin. As the scene changed, they set up with a chair right in front of Ellie and a friend that she had brought. Marley sat right in front of them and once again, kept them on edge.

My favorite scene was one where Bob Cratchit and family were in the graveyard with him singing, "What Child is This?" after his death. Oh, it was unbelievably well done. It was followed by the third and final spirit, and that one freaked Maggie out. She kept saying, "If he comes this way, I'm out of here." At one point, he was making his way to our area and she grabbed onto me and repeated that she would disappear if he came too close. Fortunately for all of us, he kept his distance.

It was a great show. I really enjoy our local theater productions and count the kids as blessed that they get to see so many as well. I wasn't sure if Griffin really liked going to these, but he said, "Mom, I love them. Don't you remember that 'Plaid' show? It's still my favorite." That was "Plaid Tidings" that we saw last year at Christmastime at the Scera theater. I love that these things make a positive impression on my kids and that it's something they remember doing together as a family. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

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