A Christmas Carol

Tonight, I went to the opening night of A Christmas Carol, starring John Goodman, Jane Leeves (Daphne from Frasier) and Christopher Lloyd as Scrooge at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood & Highland. Jane Seymour was supposed to be apart of the cast as the Ghost of Christmas Past, but she had to back out of the week long show due to a severe cold.

This adaptation stayed true to Dickens’ tale with a narrator reading direct dialogue and the cast speaking in old English. However, this showing soon turned into an episode of I Love Lucy or a scene out of Noises Off, due to a series of mishaps caused by the stage hands. In some cases the set didn't change at all, causing the actors to continue the scene despite still being in the wrong setting. Christopher Lloyd saved the show though with his enthusiastic performance and witty one-liners much to the audiences’ amusement, while I threw my hands over my mouth in embarrassment for him and the cast. It was as if the theater staff was either too early or ten minutes too late in their transitions--it was painful, but the show must go on!

The acting and the show itself would have been great if not for the above mishaps. It definitely got me into the Christmas spirit! I especially love when Scrooge says, "But you were always a good man of business, Jacob." Upon which the Ghost of Marley cries out: "Business! Mankind was my business!" Always a good reminder.

A Christmas Carol runs until Sunday January 4, 2009 and you can score mezzanine tickets for just $30 via Goldstar.

Update:

Looks like I'm going to see the performance again for free along with those who attended the first show too. Kevin Von Feldt, Adaptor-producer-director of “A Christmas Carol” wrote in an email:

After we had already begun production, we had a loss of investment money and did not secure our financing until December 16. We made the tough call to proceed rather than give up. With only five days of rehearsal and one day on the stage at the Kodak, we managed to get through the performance you saw, which for us was an achievement by the cast and crew. As expected, the show has improved each day and we know that if you could come to see the show again, you would not recognize the current production.

The reception this show receives from current audiences is rousing and enthusiastic. No show in history with name talent, a major venue, thirty-two scene changes and a cast of twenty-three has attempted to open with only five days of rehearsal. It simply can't be done - lesson learned.
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