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Civic Theater presents Indiana premier of A Christmas Carol – the Musical

By Jim Fester

jim_fester@fortwaynereader.com

Fort Wayne Reader

2004-10-25


A Christmas Carol is as much a part of the Christmas season as snowmen 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, has all the qualities that we’re supposed to love about the 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 Caro — the Musical on Friday, November 5, it’ll be the first time since 1998 the Civic has done the play, and the first time they’ve done this musical version of it. In fact, it’s the Indiana premier of A Christmas Carol — the Musical, according to Phil Colglazier, the executive director of the Civic Theater since 2000. Written by Alan Menken, the composer Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, this production was a long-running Radio City Music Hall favorite that’s just recently been opened up to other theaters.

“It’s not your typical Christmas Carol, so it’s like rediscovering the story,” says Colglazier. “It’s fast-paced, with great songs and costumes. It just has all that spectacle of a Disney production.”

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.”

A Christmas Carol - the Musical
Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8 pm.
Nov. 7, 14, 21 at 2 pm.
Fort Wayne Civic Theatre at The Performing Arts Center, 303 E. Main
Tickets: Adults $24; students 23 and under $16; Senior Sunday Matinees,
$20
(260) 424-5220 or (260) 422-8641 x221

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