A DOUBLE DOSE OF DICKENS:
Valley Theatre Groups put on Classic Christmas Tale
By Mike Butler
Nobody loves the holiday season like I do! If you know me or you’ve visited my workplace during the holidays then you’ve witnessed “Holiday Mike” in action and it’s seriously similar to the movie Elf without the yellow tights! Although the commercialization of Christmas and the very early TV ads and store displays get on my ever-loving nerves, I still find immense joy in the holiday season. Once Remembrance Day has passed and we dip into mid-November, I feel the holiday season can commence, and what better way to get into the spirit of the holidays than a Christmas musical featuring local actors!
The classic story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is hitting the stage in musical form, performed by TWO Valley community theatre groups. Of course, nothing will ever top the black and white film version of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sims, but these two amazing and completely different musical productions will certainly catapult you into holiday mode.
Up first, Centrestage Theatre in Kentville presents Scrooge: The Musical starring local actor Alan Slipp as the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge. With a cast of two dozen Valley actors (of all ages) including Keigan Richard, Aaron Kane, Davina Melanson, Marc Charrier, Jilly Richard, Jennifer MacDonald, Don Muise, Melanie Clouthier Coleman, Breagh MacLean, London Cross, Jane Maillet, Keira Melanson, Brandon Taylor, Isaiah Vallillee, Cedric Van Exel, Sophie Van Exel, Agatha Bourassa, Charlotte Crouch, Beth Irvine, Hailey Kane, Heike Landry, J.Richard Richard, and Tim Vallillee, this delightful musical will have you tapping your toes and clapping your hands throughout. Director Thea Burton, no stranger to directing big musicals, has crafted a beautifully-staged production with interesting set pieces and musical numbers.
Scrooge: The Musical, is written by acclaimed musician Leslie Bricusse and it will be on stage Fridays and Saturdays beginning November 3 until December 8 (Friday), front of house opens at 6:45pm, shows at 7:30pm. Matinees are on Sundays, November 12, 26, December 3, front of house opens at 1:15pm, shows at 2:00pm. Tickets are adults $15, seniors and students $12, children 12 and under $5. CentreStage takes cash or cheques only. Reservations are held until 15 minutes before show time and it is strongly recommended you call 902-678-8040 for reservations. Please visit centrestagetheatre.ca for more information.
Also getting into the holiday spirit (of past, present, and future) is Quick as a Wink Theatre Society in Windsor with their production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical, featuring the classic Dickens narrative with completely different music from Scrooge: The Musical. Featuring another stellar cast of over three dozen local actors, A Christmas Carol: The Musical features music by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast), and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. A Christmas Carol is a spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story and under the direction of Mark Wainman, with musical direction from Katrina Salmon, A Christmas Carol is sure to be a must-see hit.
A Christmas Carol: The Musical features powerhouse actor Steve Roe as Scrooge, and the three ghosts are played by Olivia Lee, Logan Levesque, and Francesca Cornetta. Supporting actors include Brian and Cheryl MacDonald, David Foley, Dylan Salmon, Justin Brown, Hannah Moore, Max Cole and many many more.
Shows will take place at the Fountain Performing Arts Centre of King’s-Edgehill School in Windsor, December 1, 2, 8, 9, at 7:00pm, with special matinees on December 2, 9, and 10 at 2:00pm. Tickets can be purchased online at QAAW.ca or by visiting Mosaic Market in Windsor and The Box of Delights Book Shop in Wolfville. This is a family-friendly, holiday must-see show you don’t want to miss!
Quick As A Wink Theatre Society and Centrestage Theatre are non-profit, charitable, community theatre groups. Their objectives and performances are conducted and achieved entirely by volunteers, and for years they’ve never steered their patrons wrong with their productions. Enjoy the shows and the preparations for a safe and happy holiday season!