By: Trinity House release
Clowns, magic, puppetry, improv, mime, funny accents & hat-swapping, It’s all for fun in a new production of “A Christmas Carol” December 5 – 21, at Trinity House Theatre in Livonia.
The Dickens classic was never like this. This adaptation by Doris Baizley has actors rush about, sing, tumble, show puppets and play numerous characters each. A Clown Trio acts-out everything from the fireplace to birds to Scrooge himself. “It’s a hilarious marathon,” comments Director, Rob Papineau “these actors leap from one character to the next.”
The “Older Clown” presents the young Scrooge’s monstrous schoolmaster and then jolly Fezziwig, the dancing businessman. “And all I change is my hat- and my voice!” quips Jonathon Stanley, a hiphop dancer from Canton, who also plays Jake the Fence. “Jake is unbelievably low-down,” adds Jonathon. “He buys up the dead Scrooge’s effects, then his sheets and pillows, then his gold teeth, fingernails- it goes on right up until his heart- which is declared worthless.”
Wildly theatrical, this adaptation involves a down-at-the-heels “Troupe Of Actors,” about to present the traditional tale with few props and no real scenery. They’re also missing Tiny Tim. “I fired him- he ate the Christmas Dinner!” grumps the stage manager. He cancels the show outright when the “Scrooge actor” leaves a goodbye note, but the others actors press him into the leading role.
Alan Madlane of Hamtramck takes the Scrooge/Manager double role. “This cantankerous stage manager, the guy not in the play, is pushed on as Scrooge. It’s a brilliant parallel with Scrooge’s own lack of life and family.”
Laura Gumina of Southfield is padding-up to play the hefty “Character Woman,” who then becomes the dancing Mrs. Fezziwig and others. “I love the comedic bent of this show- the raucous physical humor. Yet, it is still true to the original.”
Chelsea Sadler of Ann Arbor finds it “most challenging to play different characters within one show.” Chelsea switch-hits as motherly Mrs. Cratchit and the child-like Spirit of Christmas Past.
Robert Young treks from Grosse Pointe Park to Livonia, to portray Bob Cratchit. “Always a popular story about redemption and the meaning of Christmas, this version allows the audience to see it with fresh eyes. The “traveling troupe” is so poor, much of the props and scenery are improvised.”
“A Christmas Carol” plays Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, December 5-21, at Trinity House Theatre, 38840 6 Mile Rd., in Livonia, just west of I-275.
Tickets are $15, $12 for members. Sunday matinees are $12 for seniors and students. Tickets can be reserved at 734-464-6302.