I’ve really enjoyed watching A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati over the past few years. It’s become a holiday tradition with a familiar story that still offers a little something different each year. My favorite elements are observing the cast make familiar characters their own and watching the set transform. It’s really incredible to watch actors rise up from below the floor. If you have watched the play over the years, you will recognize returning cast members along with new ones who add their own personality to their character. Bruce Croomer once again delivers as a convincing Scrooge. He really becomes Scrooge after playing the role for so many years. The classic story remains the same which is a reminder to keep the main thing, the main thing.
The Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life Charles Dickens’ familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. Adapted by Howard Dallin, A Christmas Carol‘s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year.
The cast of the 25th anniversary production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features a mix of new and familiar actors. Bruce Cromer, the longest-tenured of the four actors who have filled Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserly shoes, returns to the role for the 11th time this season. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight years.) Also returning are Avery Clark as Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future, Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Annie Fitzpatrick as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience, Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Douglas Rees as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Rich Man at Fezziwig’s and Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s.
New to A CHRISTMAS CAROL this season is Cincinnati native Kathleen Wise, who is making her Playhouse debut as Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake.
Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Law Dunford, Kyle Powell, Serena Ryen, Robert Carlton Stimmel, Erin Ward, Renika Williams and Lilian Wouters — will play carolers, party guests and others.
Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL; this season, six new actors join the three veteran junior cast members. Returning are Nathan E. Goodlett as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Livvy Stubenrauch as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Ethan Verderber as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s. New to the production this year are Ella Gallagan as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Ari Elizabeth Johnson as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Aidan McCracken as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, Ashley Taylor as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Austin Vaughan as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack and Henry Charles Weghorst as Tiny Tim.
A Christmas Carol NOV. 25 – DEC. 30, 2015
A Christmas Carol is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $40. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45. Tickets for the public preview, which will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, begin at $35. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.
The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.
Playhouse in the Park is located at 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
All photos by MIKKI SCHAFFNER provided courtesy of Playhouse in the Park.
Disclosure: I received tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.