CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK AND U.S. BANK PRESENT
THE BELOVED HOLIDAY CLASSIC
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, NOV. 27 TO DEC. 29
Bruce Cromer as Ebenezer Scrogge & Von Eric Huhn as Tiny Tim. Photo by Sandy Underwood.
(CINCINNATI) — The spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future converge on the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as U.S. Bank presents Charles Dickens’ iconic holiday story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The beloved tale of a miserly humbug’s redemption, enjoyed each season by multiple generations of Cincinnatians, will be performed for its 23rd year in the Playhouse’s Robert S. Marx Theatre from Nov. 27 through Dec. 29.
Dickens, considered to be one of the greatest writers of his time, wrote the instantly successful A CHRISTMAS CAROL in 1843. His most popular work among a prolific output of classics, A CHRISTMAS CAROL is credited for revitalizing the celebration of Christmas as we know it today. So renowned is the story in popular culture that the central character’s name has become a synonym for a mean, tight-fisted person. A CHRISTMAS CAROL has also inspired countless television, film and stage adaptations — in male, female and even cartoon forms.
The Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted by Howard Dallin, brings Dickens’ narrative to vivid life with spectacular effects that illuminate Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. From his kind-hearted sister Fan and first love Belle to his generous employer Fezziwig and humble clerk Bob Cratchit, Scrooge is repeatedly shown the saving grace of love and concern for humanity. The heartwarming message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL helps to make it one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season.
The cast of the 2013 production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features both new and returning actors. Bruce Cromer portrays Ebenezer Scrooge for the ninth time, making his run as the notorious humbug the longest in Playhouse history. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight seasons.) Also returning are Avery Clark as Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future, Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Keith Jochim as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Amy Warner as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience. Raye Lankford, who portrayed the Ghost of Christmas Past in the Playhouse’s 2001 production, returns to the role (and also takes on the part of Mrs. Peake) in this year’s show. Making his Playhouse debut is Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip.
Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Chelsea D. Harrison, Meggy Hai Trang, Jon Kovach, Rico Reid, Sam Rueff, Shayna Schmidt, Britian Seibert and Justin Weaks — will play carolers, party guests and others.
Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Returning are Allison Edwards as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Joseph Forest Lennon Hamzy as Ignorance/Matthew/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Ethan Verderber as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack. New to the production this year are Brooke Chamberlin as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Tad Ehlers as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Antwan Hill as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Sanii Marie Reynolds as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Ty Joseph Shelton as Tiny Tim and Anna Verderber as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s.
“It is a recurring joy to bring Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL to life every holiday season. To see the rapt expressions of thousands of children with their families as they are introduced to the wonders of live theatre at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a yearly gift,” says Michael Evan Haney, who is directing the production for the 21st time. (Haney has been associated with A CHRISTMAS CAROL since its first year; he played the first Bob Cratchit for two seasons.)
The creative team for A CHRISTMAS CAROL includes James Leonard Joy (set designer), David Murin (costume designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), David B. Smith (sound designer/composer), Steve O’Shea (lighting contractor), Cindy Witherspoon (costume coordinator), Rebecca N. Childs (music director) and Dee Anne Bryll (choreographer). The stage manager is Andrea L. Shell, and second stage managers are Becky Merold and Jenifer Morrow.
The production is sponsored by U.S. Bank. The design sponsor is Time Warner Cable Business Class. Artist sponsor/The Ghosts is American Modern Insurance Group, artist sponsor/Ebenezer Scrooge is AAA and Provident Travel and artist sponsor/Tiny Tim is The Evelo/Singer/Sullivan Group at Merrill Lynch. Additional support is provided by the Stona Fitch Family.
All show times for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening performances to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There will be no performances on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. Prices range from $35 to $90, depending on day and seat location. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29.
The production will be audio described for those with visual impairments at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and signed for persons with hearing impairments at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.
For tickets to A CHRISTMAS CAROL or for further information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at (800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.
For the 18th year, the Playhouse will partner with the University of Cincinnati’s Hoxworth Blood Center for a blood drive on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blood donors who attend the special event will receive vouchers good for half-price tickets to select performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and CLYBOURNE PARK. To schedule an appointment, visit http://www.hoxworth.org/groups/playhouse. Donation times are limited, so donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance. Questions may be directed to Hoxworth at 513-451-0910.
Spread joy this holiday season by donating a toy to the Playhouse’s Toys for Tots collection. To donate, bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Playhouse in November and December and place it in the Toys for Tots barrel near the Box Office. (The Marines will not accept used toys or toys that have been removed from their original packaging. Plush or stuffed dolls that are not sold in a box or carton also cannot be accepted.)
Characters from A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s holiday production of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Cincinnati Ballet’s FRISCH’S PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS will be spreading the holiday spirit at festive events throughout the Tristate this season. For a full listing of events, visit www.cincyplay.com.
The 2013-14 Marx Theatre Series is sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, and the Robert S. Marx season design sponsor is Macy’s. The season sponsor of new work is The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation.
The Playhouse is supported, in part, by the generosity of the tens of thousands of individuals and businesses that give to ArtsWave.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.