I see multiple versions of “A Christmas Carol” every year. The Muppets, “Scrooged,” the one with Albert Finney, “An American Christmas Carol,” I watch them faithfully. And I’ve seen the Goodman production many times. I know and love the story every which way. Of course, I never heard the tale from the perspective of the writer... until now!
The Building Stage presents CHARLES DICKENS BEGRUDGINGLY PERFORMS ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL.’ AGAIN. Charles Dickens is serving up tea and biscuits. He has decided to forgo his annual book reading to par-tay holiday style. Who’d blame him? For 150+ years, he’s been reciting the same Scrooge tale. Although he’s looking for a respite from a repeat, the ghosts have a different plan. CHARLES DICKENS BEGRUDGINGLY PERFORMS ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL.’ AGAIN is one man’s powerful return to the beginnings of his story
Author! Author! Creator and performer Blake Montgomery transforms into Charles Dickens. Montgomery engages as a cordial, if not goofy, host. He’s throwing biscuits, spilling tea, and scaring guests. He’s a hoot in his efforts to avoid the inevitable holiday classic focus. He’s delightful! And then, he’s outstanding! As Dickens, Montgomery stumbles over his own words and discovers a deeper meaning. Montgomery assesses his choice, as Dickens, to describe Scrooge as an “oyster.” I didn’t think there was another way to look at the character of Scrooge but Montgomery does. And because Montgomery is so natural in his delivery, the epiphany moment seemed spontaneously arrived at for both of us. This holiday show is more than entertaining, it’s enlightening.
Without a cast or a faked Dickens village, Montgomery uses Dickens words to fill the stage with heartfelt meaning. Montgomery also serves as the scenic designer in this truly one man show. He uses black walls, red drapes and chandeliers to create an elegant and slightly spooky look for a play about a play that’s haunted by ghosts from the other play. It all works marvelously to convey Charles Dickens’ probable writing intentions and performing irritation -after awhile. Encore!
CHARLES DICKENS BEGRUDGINGLY PERFORMS ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL.’ AGAIN is one holiday show I will see again and again and again...and not begrudgingly!
Running Time: Ninety-five minutes with no intermission
At The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter
Written and performed by Blake Montgomery
Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm
Sundays at 4pm
Additional holiday performances: December 23rd at 8pm and 24th at 2pm
Thru December 24th
Buy Tickets at www.buildingstage.com
Photo by Chelsea Keenan