A CHRISTMAS CAROL Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer) celebrates his renewed holiday spirit . Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer) celebrates his renewed holiday spirit . Photo by Sandy Underwood.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Dec. 28. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

Now in it’s 24th season, Playhouse’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL continues to entertain audiences of all ages (well ages 6 and up 🙂.)

: The Ghost of Christmas Past (Dale Hodges, left) and Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, right) look on as Boy Scrooge (Ethan Verderber) is summoned home by his sister Fan (Kinley Brooke Shoemaker). Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Dale Hodges, left) and Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, right) look on as Boy Scrooge (Ethan Verderber) is summoned home by his sister Fan (Kinley Brooke Shoemaker). Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The great sets and costumes, broad humor and a healthy dose of theatre magic are only responsible for part of the success. Each holiday season, director Michael Evan Haney brings together a talented 29-person cast of new faces, local children and a who’s who of our city’s favorite actors, many of whom have become traditions themselves.

The ghost of Jacob Marley (Gregory Procaccino) appears to a terrified yet skeptical Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer) . Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The ghost of Jacob Marley (Gregory Procaccino) appears to a terrified yet skeptical Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer) . Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Bruce Cromer leads the cast as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. This is his tenth year in that role, and previous to that, he played Bob Cratchit for eight. Cromer is excellent in the role and his gradual, touching and comedic transformation throughout the show is a joy to watch.

Gregory Procaccino has the distinction of performing in all 24 performances of CAROL. This year, Procaccino continues to terrorize Scrooge as the ghost of Jacob Marley.

Having performed in 22 of the 24 productions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Dale Hodges returns as the sprite-ly Ghost of Christmas Past.

Making his ninth appearance, Stephen Skiles is first seen as Mr. Sosser.

Young Scrooge (Jared Joplin, right) courts Belle (Joy Farmer-Clary, left) as Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, second from left) and other cast members witness this scene from Ebenezer’s past. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Young Scrooge (Jared Joplin, right) courts Belle (Joy Farmer-Clary, left) as Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, second from left) and other cast members witness this scene from Ebenezer’s past. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Nick Rose returns for a fifth time,beginning as Mr. Cupp.

Jared Joplin returns for a second time in the role of Young and Mature Ebenezer Scrooge. When both Scrooges stand side by side on stage it’s easy to believe they are the same person at different ages. Joplin’s first performance in this role was in 2004, where he played opposite his real-life father, Joneal Joplin, in the elder’s final year as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The cast of A CHRISTMAS CAROL gathers for holiday revels with Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The cast of A CHRISTMAS CAROL gathers for holiday revels with Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Cincinnati-native Ryan Wesley Gilreath returns, for his second year, to the production that inspired him, 21 years ago, to pursue acting. This year he performs as Bob Cratchit.

Kelly Menglekoch, an 11-year resident ensemble member at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, returns this year as Mrs. Cratchit.

Annie Fitzpatrick makes her CAROL debut this year with a great comic turn as Mrs. Fezziwig.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, center) and Tiny Tim (Ty Joseph Shelton) lead the 29-member cast in the finale. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer, center) and Tiny Tim (Ty Joseph Shelton) lead the 29-member cast in the finale. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Be sure to pay attention, as most of the actors appear as several different characters.

It would take a true Scrooge indeed not to enjoy this fabulous production and annual Christmas present from the Playhouse.

God bless us, every one! indeed.

My rating: 4.50 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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