It’s a tale almost as old as time. Ever since it debuted in 1843, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has become one of the most endearing stories of the holiday season. The Christmas classic is brought to life at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, playing now through Dec. 16.
“When I was growing up in California, my introduction to this story was through the musical Scrooge,” said director Jonathan Mulberg. “I was 7 years old and played Tiny Tim. I had no idea what the story was about or that it was a holiday tradition. I only knew that a grumpy old man somehow became happy.”
Taking place on Christmas Eve, the Dickens tale follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman who isn’t shy about the fact that he hates Christmas. Scrooge berates his employee, Bob Cratchit, for wanting the day off to celebrate with his family and declines a dinner party invitation from his own nephew, Fred. And despite his success, Scrooge spurns any request for charitable donations for those in need.
Adapted for the stage by LTA’s own Donna Farragut, the tale recounts the events of a life-changing Christmas Eve for the protagonist who brought ‘Bah Humbug” into the vernacular.
Bob Chaves takes on the role of Scrooge, who is visited on that fateful Christmas Eve by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley (Steven Malone). Bound in chains, Marley warns of the despair that awaits Scrooge if he doesn’t change his ways.
Scrooge is then famously visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Elana Ruiz), Present (Justin Beland) and Yet to Come (Christian Huggard). Beland does double duty as Charles Dickens, who provides narration for the unfolding events.
Producers Mary Beth Smith-Toomey and sheri ratick stroud have assembled a stellar cast that includes James Senavitis as Bob Cratchit, Nina Hall as Tiny Tim, Christian Huggard as Scrooge’s nephew Fred, Cristine Casais as Belle, and Garrett Walsh as Young Scrooge.
A rotating cast of talented children brings a contagious energy and enthusiasm to the production.
The creative team includes music direction by Abbie Mulberg, set design by Julie Fischer, lighting design by Arie McSherry, sound design by Gary Zacuto, costume design by Juliana Cofrancesco and Carl Pappas, and hair and makeup design by Natalie Turkevich.
“Dickens himself was a rags-to-riches story and wanted his fellow Victorians to celebrate mankind and be charitable to those in need,” Mulberg said. “Dickens was a big proponent of embracing the community around you and we have done that here with this production.”
A Christmas Carol runs through Dec. 16 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street. For tickets or more information, call 703-683-0496 or visit www.thelittletheatre.com.