Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley

Posted by Mondschein

"A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley" Barefoot Theatre Company presented by Horse Trade Theater Group at The Kraine Theater, December 16, 2009

As part of their 70/70 Horovits Project, celebrating playwright Israel Horovitz' 70th birthday with 70 of his plays presented around the world, Barefoot Theatre company presents his adaptation of the Dicken's short story.

The 85 minute piece, performed without intermission is a faithful retelling of the greed and redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge (John Gazzale).  Here, the story is narrated by the ghost of Jacob Marley (Ken Glickfield) and directed in an eclectic mixture of styles by Robert Bruce McIntosh.  I'm sure many of his choices, such as mixing in a bit of kabuki,  were directed by budget (or lack thereof), with some more successful than others, but resulting in a uneven performance with sometimes jarring transitions.  Also uneven were the performances among the cast.

Carrying the majority of the burden, and successfully so to our fortune is Mr. Gazzale.  Whether written or directed as such, his Scrooge is quite the teary and regretful soul, with the waterworks beginning during the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past (Caitlin Davies), and flowing freely until the final curtain.  Still, he commands the stage and delivers with conviction, head and shoulders above his castmates.  Almost as successful is Mr. Glickfield's Jacob Marley. While his makeup looked more canine than rotted, his delivery stumbled and stammered from time to time.  Sadly, the rest of the cast, for the most part, were rather amateurish despite their energy and intent.  Despite that, the play's excellent writing does manage to shine through.

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