What a joy it is to welcome back A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within after last year’s hiatus. Needless to say, last year Christmas was rather lackluster, so to be gathered together again for what has become a Pasadena tradition was a very moving experience. The chemistry of this particular cast coupled with the emotion of seeing this beloved show proved to be truly magical. Geoff Elliot is back as the miserly Scrooge, a role he clearly relishes and one he seems to continue to deepen over the years. This production is chock full of company members making it a lovely ensemble piece that sings. With its all new original music by Robert Oriol, stellar cast, whimsical costumes and heartfelt emotion, this show is the must-see of the season.
This adaptation is fresh, funny and downright scary at times lest we forget it is indeed a ghost story! The ever charming Frederick Stuart is back as our professorial narrator, reading from a tattered copy of Dicken’s book, guiding us gently through the night. Elliot does a fantastic job of scaring everyone in his path with his surliness and then astounding them with his newfound Christmas spirit. The lovely Deborah Strang reprises her role as the delightful Ghost of Christmas Past who transports Scrooge to various scenes of his youth. Elliot beautifully conveys his pain and regret as he watches his younger self stupidly allowing the love of his life, a radiant Roshni Shukla, to walk away.
Rafael Goldstein is a cheerfully compassionate Fred, Scrooge’s nephew who continues to invite him to Christmas dinner year after year, believing that one day he just may say yes. Their scenes together, somehow more so this year than ever before, are incredibly touching. And bring tissues because the Cratchit family is beautifully played by Emily Kosloski, Gioya Tuma-Waku, Darius De La Cruz, Stella Bullock, Amalia Morris, Kwayi Grimstad Ndjamen, Clara Duffy and a darling Aarush Mehta as Tiny Tim, making their scenes especially poignant.
The gang’s all back together with Alan Blumenfeld as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Jeremy Rabb as Marley and the cast is rounded out with Jose Donado as the ominous Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, Sydney Mason as Fred’s wife, Freddy Duffy as youngest Scrooge and Andrea Somera in the ensemble.
A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within is a beautiful reminder of who we can be in this moment and a delightful way to celebrate the season!
Tickets for A Christmas Carol, starting at $25, www.anoisewithin.org
and by phone by calling 626-356-3121.