A Christmas Carol Out of Tune
The Wyly Theatre in Downtown Dallas was transformed into a Victorian era factory, gangplanks extending into the audience, workers climbing down ladders above the seating, large metal pipes hanging above the actors on stage and moving as each scene called for. The back wall, when back lit, revealed the peeling and fading name of the company "Scrooge and Marley" All in all, it was one impressive work of art. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the performance.
One of my favorite Christmas staples, I have seen many versions of A Christmas Carol on stage. The biggest pitfall of this show is always the children. At a young age, it's very rare that a child actually grasps the nuances of acting and does it well. This performance was no exception, with cringe worthy delivery from many of the small children. In particular, from one that kept buzzing around the stage like a confused and colorblind bee - the Ghost of Christmas Present. 1 found that most of the dull and wrote performances could be ignored in favor of exploring the expansive set but that of the twirling, high-flying, bumbling Ghost of Christmas Present refused to be so. Thanks to the new, state-of-the-art fly system that bumped the ticket prices for students from fifteen to twenty five dollars, the mischievous sprite of Christmas was sent noisily whirling around by his belt from corner to corner.
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It would not have been so distracting had the child actually acclimated to the fly system and had the system not been so loud that it drowned out any dialogue any of the mic'd actors tried to drone out. The questionable acting was not contained to the children, however. Many of the adult actors seemed to be bored with the production or even as though they did not want to be there. During what should have been one of the most touching scene - when Belle turns down Scrooge because of his descent into greed - I found myself once more interested in the set. Aside from old Mr. Scrooge's performance - which seemed to deflate in the second half, when traditionally it should have lifted in the spirit of his newfound generosity - the only other character that seemed to have been imbued with any heart was that of Bob Cratchit, played by Akron Watson. Cratchit was believably a father weighed down by the plight of his youngest son and his unwavering belief that there is still some good down in his greedy boss's heart. This general lack of energy was made even more obvious in the numerous song and dance numbers that were arbitrarily scattered throughout the performance.
Though the dances were executed neatly and precisely there was little spirit in them and some of the performers looked absolutely terrified of what their bodies were doing, as though they had little to no control over their steps. Though A Christmas Carol is thought to be excellent holiday fare, I would say that this performance left me wanting. I felt as though I had gone into a holiday potluck, full of cheer, and found the only offerings to be burnt gingerbread man cookies and flat punch. If you would rather not become a Grinch this season, I would advise saving a trip and a wallet full of money and popping in the old VHS copy of The Muppet Christmas instead. At least in that performance you won't be distracted by the incessant trolley noises of an ungainly Christmas spirit.
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The Poor Performance of A Christmas Carol at the Wyly Theatre in Downtown Dallas. (2023, Apr 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-poor-performance-of-a-christmas-carol-at-the-wyly-theatre-in-downtown-dallas/
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