Review- Harlequin Productions -A Christmas Carol-A radio play

How I loved Halequin’s Radio Adaptation of A Christmas Carol-Let me count the ways.

Harlequin’s Theatre’s radio production of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, is on a par with all the best radio plays I have ever heard from the BBC with its superbly witty script by Orson Wells, excellent direction by Corey McDaniel, flawless technical quality, evocative music and sound effects by Kyle Thompson and an ensemble of the most vocally adept actors in the region and possibly the world.

The lack of caracteur in the acting was quite unique in this production. As I sat and listened to the first scene, in Scrooge’s office, I found the character of Scooge, played by Terry Edward Moore, positively intimidating and I experienced visceral memories of all the screaming bullies, with whom it has been my misfortune to work. However, Moore plays him as many multi layered individual, and as a special treat, was able to milk every ounce of wit and humor out of the dialogue, which is often overshadowed, in other productions, by the focus on the moral message. Not this Scrooge, not under McDaniel’s direction.

Although Moore is definitely the star, the other actors all were of the same high caliber, including the narrator Jason Sharp, who really brought the visual images, suggested by the script, to life; Jason Haws, as the saintly Bob Cratchit; Marianna De Fazio, as Tiny Tim and a few other minor parts (her velvety voice was recognizable), Helen Harvester as Belle, Scrooge’s erstwhile fiancé, and Nicholas Main as both the nephew and Young Scrooge.

This classic production was originally produced in 1939 by The Mercury Theatre, directed by legendary director Orson Wells, who also directed The War of the Worlds.

I can think of no better way to spend the rainy dismal nights of quarantine, than sitting in front of the fire with a nice cup of wassail (or whatever) and listen to this entertaining and enlightening story. If you think you have seen, read or heard it too many times, this production has a unique quality to it: humor. Along with dazzling actors with operatic vocal ability, brilliant direction and high production values.

A Christmas Carol, adapted by Orson Wells, Harlequin Productions. Until Dec. 31st
Available on demand. Single tickets $25. Household $35.

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