Oh hi! Hello! And “how do you do?”
It’s your favorite dame here—Miss Cindy Lou-Who!
I’m back on stage down on old North Court Street
In a holiday play that sure is a treat!
You can check me out soon in an adults-only show
But for family fun, there’s another show you should go….to.
Okay, there are a lot of reasons for me to hate Christmas (let’s just say one of the top reasons is green, hairy and rhymes with “The Finch”), and I can tell you all about it in my one-Who tour-de-force “Who’s Holiday!,” starting Nov. 26.
But bein’ around the cast and creative team behind “A Christmas Carol” has reminded me why this play and the people who put it on are so special. So, buckle up, buttercups—here’s Cindy Lou Who’s list of “The Top Five Reasons You Should See ‘A Christmas Carol’ This Year.” (For other listicles, including “Five Ways to Use Leftover Roast Beast,” “Fahoo Fores, Dahoo Dores and Seven Other Non-Secular Christmas Favorites” and “Thirteen Home Hacks With Your Zizzer-zazzer-zuzz,” you can check out my YouTube channel.)
It’s a ghost story
There’s a long tradition of telling ghost stories around Christmas that go way, way back before “Christmas” as we know it, and, of course, Chuck Dickens wrote the world’s most famous ghost story of Christmas in his 1860 bestseller “A Christmas Carol.” Boy howdy, this show is chock-full of spirits, apparitions and your run-of-the-mill scares. David Richwine returns for his fifth year playing Jacob Marley, and, seeing the looks on folks’ faces when Marley appears on stage for the first time—it takes my breath away. It’s terrifying, exhilarating and just plain fun! Everything a good ghost story should be.
There’s magic! Literal magic!
I’m not going to spoil too much, but there are some jaw-dropping special effects in this show. Every year, the staff members get asked, “How did they do that?” I would tell you, but honestly I have no idea…magnets?
Nicholas Hughes as Ebenezer Scrooge
Nick has been playing Scrooge since the early aughts, and the thoughtfulness and passion that he brings to this character is inspiring. “A Christmas Carol” proves that even the most miserable can find light in the world and help spread that light and love to his fellow humans (we in “The Biz” call it, a “redemption arc”). Mr. Hughes plays the part with grace, and performs to each audience as if it were the first time.
Okay, but like, the WHOLE CAST
Most of the folks who are joining us this year are returning to the show after a two-year hiatus (did you hear about theaters being shut down? It was a whole thing). To see people like Karen Ruch return as The Ghost of Christmas Past (all swishing skirts and gold glitter) or Patrick Hughes as Scrooge’s nephew Fred (a wealth of heartfelt speeches and the epitome of Christmas cheer) or Jonathan Hoover (who started six years ago as our Tiny Tim and is now taller than most of us)—to see them share the stage with some of our newcomers, who get to experience this magic for the first time—well, it warms my Who-heart.
We need a little Christmas
There is so much that I can’t fit into this list—the atmospheric lighting and sound effects, the beautifully painted stage, the lush costumes, the intimidating amount of fog, but when it comes right down to it, this is a show that will make you feel good. Let’s face it—it’s been a rough couple of years. We deserve all the joy, laughter, awe and wonder that this piece of theater brings every night.
I’m looking forward to welcoming you all back to Cindy Lou’s trailer this year (well, all of you adult yous) or seeing you in the audience at “A Christmas Carol.”
“Who’s Holiday!” runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 22. “A Christmas Carol” runs Dec. 4 to 23. Tickets and information can be found at www.openstagehbg.com.
UPCOMING THEATER EVENTS AT HARRISBURG’S PROFESSIONAL DOWNTOWN THEATERS
At Gamut Theatre
Popcorn Hat Players present
“Countdown to Noon!”
Held at Whitaker Center’s Sunoco Theater
Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.
Doors open at 10:30 a.m.
Tickets are $15 each.
TMI Improv presents
“Last Laughs of 2021”
Held at Gamut Theatre
Dec. 31, shows on the hour at 9, 10 and 11 p.m.
Doors and bar open at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 each or $30 for an all-night pass
At Open Stage
“A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 4 to 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 to Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
“Drag the Halls” Presented by The Obstructed View
Dec. 5 at noon
Harrisburg Black NewsBeat with Dr. Kimeka Campbell
Dec. 9 & 21 at 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 8, 22 & 23 at 9:30 p.m.
Court Street Cabaret
Dec. 3, 16, 17 & 18 at 9:30 p.m.
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