Lessons of Scrooge still haunt us in ‘A Christmas Carol’
If watching another wonderful production of “A Christmas Carol” isn’t enough enticement to head out to the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach this month, then maybe the addition of “snow” will do the trick. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jonathan McMurtry will bedazzle as the favorite seasonal curmudgeon, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. The play has been adapted by Jacqueline Goldfinger and is directed by NCR actor, director and playwright Matt Thompson.
“I am thrilled that North Coast Rep is producing ‘A Christmas Carol’ for a third year,” Goldfinger said. “I am so happy that it has become a part of the holiday tradition in our community, and in communities around the country.”
The wonderful story of “A Christmas Carol” has been relished every season for more than 100 years. Audiences never tire of the story about a miser who sees no use in giving and is taught an invaluable lesson by his employee Bob Cratchit and his warm family, and especially Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, who is quite ill.
Thompson’s directing credits go nationwide, but at the Rep, they include “The Hobbit,” “Hansel & Gretel” and “My Big Fat Greek Divorce.” He starred in “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” “Over the Tavern,” “Dracula,” “Leading Ladies” and “A Thousand Clowns.” Thompson said he is excited to direct this adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.”
“Over the last few years, we’ve changed the play quite a bit,” he said. “This year, I tried to stick close to the dialogue of what Jacqueline adapted, but there are a few small additions between the lines we added. In terms of talent, I’m amazed how everyone gets along and builds up one another. This is the best cast I have ever directed.”
The cast includes Jacob Cal Rider, Geon Carr, Ashleigh Craig, Jackie Foster, Aryan Kopp, Brian Mackey, Austin Myers, Molly O’Meara, Von Schafer, Alexis Taney, John Tester, Tracy Williams and of course, McMurtry.
“He is such a joy in terms of being affable and easy to work with,” Thompson said. “With everything he’s done, he has such wonderful ideas on stage, and he’s willing to go with anything.”
“A Christmas Carol” was a critics’ choice in 2007 and 2008. Thompson feels that this year, in particular, audiences will embrace this timeless classic. He pointed out that Dickens’ original themes about capitalism and the Industrial Revolution in England all tie in to the economics of today.
“But this show is more about the human condition and human compassion,” he said. “That’s what Dickens wrote this play about, and hopefully, that comes out in our production.”
‘A Christmas Carol’
- Who: North Coast Repertory Theatre
- Where: 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach
- When: 7 p.m. Dec. 17-18; 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 23; 6 p.m. Dec. 22 and Dec. 26; 3 p.m. Dec. 24; and 2 p.m. Dec. 27
- Tickets: $25-30
- (858) 481-1055