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The Fort Wayne Civic presents A Christmas Carol — the Musical
By Eddie Torres
Fort Wayne Reader
A Christmas Carol is as much a part of the Christmas season as snowmen, jingle bells, and houses covered with blinking lights. Every Christmas, someone somewhere brings us another take on the classic story of the sour Ebenezer Scrooge, visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his dead business partner Marley, and the three spirits of Christmas past, present, and future.
And why not? Charles Dickens’ story, originally published in 1843, serves as a heartwarming (and entertaining) reminder of the true ideals of Christmas — the importance of goodwill, friendship, and generosity, and the power of love and kindness to redeem even the most hardened heart.
That’s probably why A Christmas Carol is still with us nearly two centuries later, and why it will continue to be reinterpreted in movies, television, and on the stage.
When the Civic Theater starts its run of A Christmas Carol — the Musical on Friday, November 5, it’ll be the first time since 2004 the Civic has done the play. Back in 2004, in fact, the Civic’s production was the Indiana premier of the musical version of the story. Written by Alan Menken, the composer of Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, this production was a long-running Radio City Music Hall favorite from 1994 through 2003 before becoming available to other companies.
As big production musicals go — and the Civic’s production is a huge, lavish spectacle, as befitting a festive holiday — the songs are as instantly memorable as any Disney classic. “The musical isn’t your typical Christmas Carol, so it’s like rediscovering the story,” says Phillip Colglazier, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Civic Theater and the director of this production. “It’s fast-paced, with great songs and costumes. It just has all that spectacle of a Disney production.”
For instance, in the original version, the Ghost of Christmas Present shows up full of seasonal bonhomie; in the musical version, he brings tap dancers to help him spread the Christmas spirit.
Colglazier thinks that part of the story’s enduring appeal has to do with the fact that both children and adults appreciate the underlying message. “The story is told in such a way that children get the message, but there’s that whole adult level as well, with reflecting on one’s past life and the lessons learned, and looking at the future,” Colglazier says. “That’s what is so nice about this play, it’s very entertaining on all levels, no matter what age you are.”
The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre presents A Christmas Carol — the Musical
Arts United Center
303 East Main
Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM
Friday, November 11 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 12 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 PM
Friday, November 18 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 PM
$24 Seniors (any performance!)
$17 Age 23 and under
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