Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and U.S. Bank Present Tri-State Holiday Favorite A CHRISTMAS CAROL

December 1 – December 30

(CINCINNATI) – A holiday tradition returns at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as U.S. Bank presents Charles Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL. A popular favorite with Tri-state families now in its 21st year, runs in the Playhouse’s Robert S. Marx Theatre from December 1 through December 30.

First written in 1843, A CHRISTMAS CAROL was an instant success that sold 10,000 copies in just 10 days in its initial printing and often is credited with reinvigorating our modern holiday celebration. The book became the author’s most popular work, translated into nearly every language and inspiring hundreds of television, film and stage adaptations.

Adapted by Howard Dallin, the Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. As he witnesses all those who have improved his life — his first love Belle, his kindhearted employer Fezziwig, his nephew Fred and his heartily abused clerk Bob Cratchit — he realizes that it’s never too late to change his miserly ways. A CHRISTMAS CAROL’s heartwarming message, along with hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects, helps to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year.

This year’s cast is comprised largely of returning actors. Local favorite Bruce Cromer will be humbugging as Ebenezer Scrooge for the seventh year. Also returning are Dale Hodges as the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake, Keith Jochim as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Andy Prosky as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Regina Pugh as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Amy Warner as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience and Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Rich Man at Fezziwig’s. Stephen Skiles plays Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Craig Wesley Divino plays Fred, Avery Clark plays Young & Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future and Joy Farmer-Clary plays Belle/Catherine Margaret.

Playing carolers and party guests are Margaret Ivey, Lormarev Jones, Katherine Leigh, Lara Miller, Greg Mallios, Aram Monisoff, Carlos Saldaña and Ben Sullivan.

Nine area children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Returning are Noah Lentini as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack, Isabella Siska as Fan/Rich Daughter at Fezziwig’s, Allison Edwards as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Riley Nattermann as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, N’doumbe Ngom as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s. Other children include Von Eric Huhn as Tiny Tim, Jack Johnson as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Carrington Shropshire as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s and Naomi Stoner as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s.

Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney, who’s been associated with A CHRISTMAS CAROL since its first year (including two as the first Bob Cratchit), directs the show for the 19th time.

According to Haney, “One of my greatest joys every year is returning to Howard Dallin’s faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The rich and colorful language of the book has been adapted into dialogue enabling the actors to speak in such a way as to retain the beauty and rhythm of the original prose. It is a beautiful retelling of, as I call it, the second greatest story ever told.”

The design team includes James Leonard Joy (sets), David Murin (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lighting) and David B. Smith (sound). Dee Anne Bryll is the choreographer, and Rebecca N. Childs is the music director. The Stage Manager is Andrea L. Shell. Second Stage Manager is Joseph Millett.

All show times are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening shows to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There are no performances on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. Prices range from $25-$75, depending on day and seat location. Tickets are $25 (B, C or D seating) for the preview performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 1. Tickets for children ages 5 to 12 are $25-$30 (children under 5 not admitted) and teens ages 13 to 19 are $30 (B, C or D seating). All prices are subject to change. The official opening night is Friday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m.

For tickets to A CHRISTMAS CAROL or for more information, call the Playhouse box office at 513/421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800/582-3208) or visit http://www.cincyplay.com. A special A CHRISTMAS CAROL website at www.achristmascarol.cincyplay.com includes games, recipes, videos and much more.

At any time between now and December 30, audience members can bring a new, unwrapped toy (appropriate for children up to age 13 and minimum $10 retail value) to the Playhouse and place it in the Toys for Tots barrel by the box office. The Marines will not accept used or second-hand toys or toys that have been removed from their original packaging. Similarly, plush or stuffed dolls that are not sold in a box or carton cannot be distributed. The Toys for Tots Foundation was created to help needy and underprivileged children experience the joys of Christmas. All toys donated after December 14 will be used for Christmas 2012.

This holiday season, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will offer visitors at its downtown branch the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The library will play host to a special exhibit highlighting the history and evolution of the Playhouse’s holiday favorite over the past 20 years. Props and costume pieces, set illustrations, photos and more will be featured in the display. The exhibit will be on view in the atrium of the Main Library beginning now through the beginning of January. More information on the library’s exhibits program is available at www.cincinnatilibrary.org.

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.

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