by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move


There is no critic on earth who could give you a better review for Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol than a child in the audience mesmerized by the ghosts of Christmas Past or Present or even Yet to Come, or a mother and father pleased-as-Christmas-punch to be able to give their child a gift of literature so beautifully comprised on a theater stage, a grandmother teary-eyed at the mere thought of Tiny Tim, or almost half a viewing audience verbally expressing how the lead actor of a play perfectly embodied a character.

There is no critic on earth who would have to say any of those things.  Why? Because they were already said — by those very people, right outside the building at intermission during South Coast Rep’s 36th annual production of A Christmas Carol, at the Segerstrom Stage.

Undeniably one of the least edgy constructs of this timeless classic, adapted by Jerry Patch and directed by John-David Keller, this show is never-the-less rapturously perfect in its presentation, diversity and age-appropriate casting for all audiences. Every recognizable, colorful moment, even possibly expected, if one knows or has seen this play before, is cleanly directed and performed by an exuberant cast rounded out by three annual SCR favorites: actor Jeff Daniel for a 6th season as Jacob Marley, Daniel Blinkoff in his 13th season as Bob Cratchit, and (drum roll) founding SCR member Hal Landon Jr. as Christmas’ bitterest of old misers, in all 35 productions, Ebenezer Scrooge!

There isn’t much more one could say about this delightful show except go. Like its alternate traditional Christmas ballet sibling, The Nutcracker, playing delightfully year after year to fresh eyes and hearts, A Christmas Carol (which, in its book form, coincidentally met with instant success upon its first publishing on December 19, 1843 and whose popularity has never dissipated) continues its reign supreme delivering messages of hope and cheer. 

a christmas carol south coast rep

Nineteenth-century London comes to life in an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic until December 27, 2015

Information and tickets:

Recommendation: Ages 6 and up. No children under age six will be admitted to A Christmas Carol. Regardless of age, everyone must have a ticket, sit in a seat and be able to sit quietly through the performance.

Running Time: Approximately two hours including one 15-minute intermission.

Photo (above) by Jim Cox/SCR: The cast of South Coast Repertory’s 2013 production of A Christmas Carol.