Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


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Bob Monette



(Posted 2:30 p.m., Dec. 1)

OYP's 'A Christmas Carol' a great way to get into the holiday spirit
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Ian Stauffer, is led by the Spirit of Christmas Present, played by Sabrina Chan, in the OYP production of 'A Christmas Carol'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

No holiday season can be complete without watching two holiday classics, "The Nutcracker" and Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".

The former is being presented by the Ballet Jörgen at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Dec. 17 and 18, while the latter is being presented this weekend at the same location by the Orléans Young Players Theatre School.

The ambitious production is 90 minutes long with an intermission and features a massive cast ranging in age from four to 60.

OYP's artistic director Kathi Langston does a remarkable job in adapting the Dickens' classic to the Richcraft Theatre stage. For the most part the script stays true to the original story and prose which many traditionalists like myself will appreciate.

As for the play itself, Ian Stauffer does an remarkable job as Ebenezer Scrooge, bringing the perfect amount of surliness, humbuggery and downright dastardliness to the lead role.

Randy Bellini was exceptional as always as the ghost of Jacob Marley, and Biz MacDonald was born to be Scrooge's chamber maid. The look on her face when Scrooge goes to hug her in the next-to-last-scene is worth the price of admission alone.

Other performances of note include Matt Miwa as Bob Cratchit, Michael Yuill as Scrooge's nephew Fred, Sabrina Chan as the Spirit of Christmas Present, and Kennedy Mackill, who was adorable as Tiny Tim.

MacDonald, who was the senior member of the cast, gets additional kudos as well as the costume mistress. It's not easy keeping track of 70 costumes let alone making sure they match the period and all fit properly.

The attention to detail of the costuming stood in stark contrast to the minimalist staging which was dominated by a large screen used to project background scenes on to it

At first the projected light is a distraction, but you soon got used to it. In fact, the shadows it created on the screen only added to the ambiance of the play.

"A Christmas Carol" will never grow old. As a tale of self-discovery, enlightenment and redemption, its message is universal and is fitting for an audience of all ages.

The OYP production continues today with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students.

Ebenezer Scrooge was himself as a young man talking to his ex-fiance Belle, as the Spirits of Christmas Past look on, in the OYP production of 'A Christmas Carol'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)



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