The Omaha Community Playhouse annual tradition of “A Christmas Carol” was written by Charles Jones, based on Charles Dickens’ classic novella from 1843. The iconic holiday story has been made into movies and has graced many stages.
The musical at the Playhouse has been going strong for 44 years. In that time, Ebeneezer Scrooge has been played by only two actors: Dick Boyd, a schoolteacher from Council Bluffs, originated the role for the Playhouse and performed for more than 25 years before local actor Jerry Longe took the reins as Scrooge.
This production, under the direction of Kimberly Faith Hickman and Ablan Roblin, is just perfect. With a cast of 40 talented actors of all ages, this production needs to be seen by everyone.
With all of those actors, the costumes are magnificent and fit the time period in England perfectly. The costume department, under Lindsay Pape and Georgiann Regan, has done a remarkable job. With the beautiful costumes come fantastic set pieces right out of a novella. Darrin Golden is the technical director and is in charge of construction for the show.
The special effects and lighting is incredible in the show. Jim Othuse is the scenic designer and lighting designer. Tim Burkhart and John Gibilisco are the sound designers. Many of the songs are traditional Christmas Carols including: “God Rest Ye Marry Gentlemen,” “Away in A Manger,” “Greensleeves” and many more. The musical director is Jim Boggess, who also plays in the orchestra pit. He has six musicians who sound fantastic. Boggess has his work cut out for him as there are 29 songs in the show.
There are many talented, young actors in the show. The dancing is great under choreographer Michelle Garrity’s direction.
“A Christmas Carol’ is a family affair. The main man in the show is Ebenezer Scrooge who is very tight with his money. His favorite saying at Christmas is “Bah Humbug.” He has a very nice man who works with him. He is Bob Cratchit, who is played very well by Steven Krambeck. Krambeck also has a daughter in the show called Anna.
Playing Cratchit’s wife and children are Brinlee Roeder as the youngest son, Tim, who is crippled; Christinea Rohling as Mrs. Cratchit; Belle Rangel as Martha; and Eliot Kerkhofs plays his son Peter. The Cratchits are poor even though Bob works very hard for the greedy and grumpy Scrooge.
In an effort to get him to change his miserly ways, Scrooge is visited by many ghosts when he goes to bed. Lori Lynn Ahrens is the Ghost of Christmas Past; Jake Parker is the Ghost of Christmas Future; and Ghost of Christmas Present is Chris Berger. Will they help Scrooge see the error of his ways? See the show to find out. It’s worth it.
Don’t miss the Omaha Community Playhouse’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol.” It is a holiday joy we are lucky to have in the metro area.
The first act runs 70 minutes and, after a 20-minute intermission, the second act runs 60 minutes. The time flies during this incredible show.
For reservations, call the Omaha Community Playhouse box office at 402-553-0800 or go in person to 6915 Cass St. in Omaha. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. On Wednesdays in December, curtain time will be at 7 p.m. Prices are $40 for adults and $26 for children depending on performance. There is no show on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28.
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