Trinity’s “A Christmas Carol”— fresh, funny & fantastic


I have reviewed over 25 productions of Trinity’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Each director has carefully followed the script to the point where I could recite the lines along with the actors, (Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?) while making changes to the set.

The 2023 production under the brilliant, innovative direction of Stephen Thorne explores a new and exciting approach to the Dickens’ classic.

Dialogue is re-envisioned, while the meaning remains the same. Sequences are slightly altered. Never is this change for changes sake, but rather change for freshness, clarification and emphasis.

All of this requires careful collaboration between the actor playing Scrooge (Mauro Hantman) and Director Thorne.

Hantman gets it. He is not just acting belligerent. He IS belligerent! His transformation comes slowly and realistically. Of all the actors, he is right up there with the late Richard Kneeland and the great Timothy Crowe.

The play is performed in the round in two acts with a brief intermission. Set designer Michael McGarty uses every nook and cranny, plus an overhead bridge that spans the center stage where props are rolled in and out and four trap doors add to the excitement.

Jeff Church, Artistic Director at Burbage Theatre, who has also acted at Trinity, Gamm and other theaters, shows his talent and versatility by playing The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Yet to Come, plus Topper.

Tiny Tim carries no cane. His uniqueness is that he is played by a neurodivergent young actor, adding a new dimension to the play.

The play is dark and scary when it needs to be and light and funny when it needs to be.

There is singing and dancing, snow, and a wonderful scene where Scrooge goes off-script.

Phyllis Kay and Richard Donnelly are everywhere, playing a variety of characters, and their interaction with the children is a delight. And, of course, there are the wonderful child actors that add so much to the merriment.

No matter how many times you have seen “A Christmas Carol” at Trinity Rep, this is the year to pay it one more visit.

At Trinity through December 31.  Call 421-Arts for reservations.


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