My night started when we (J, my brother, and I) trooped into Stone Soup Theater for the poorly advertised (and yet sold out) Black Light Christmas Carol. I admit, I did not tell them that the cast was composed entirely of children, but I figured that if it was only 45 – 60 minutes long (“depending on how long the cast improvises” said the ads), we had little to lose.
In fact, the show was hysterical. From the antics of the audience (farting, waving program visibly during fog scene) to the extremely gay (and yet still only 8 years old) Fezziwig to the bizarre appearance of Aladdin and the Three Musketeers, I found it a riot. Especially rich was the scene in which 10 year old Bob Cratchitt poured “gin and lemons” to his five children (I checked, this is in the book!), including a huge snifter to Tiny Tim, and the seven actors all drank it and made gagging noises (this, not in the book).
Scrooge was cross-cast as a 14 year old female “Aunt Ebeneza,” which facilitated a fantastic, yet, I believe, accidental scene at the end of the show in which a much younger boy admonished her to “Go out and be the best man (stares with actress with dread…) or woman … you can be.” There also took place this fantastic exchange, when she returned to her bedchamber where the fluorescent yellow Ebeneza Scrooge tombstone remained in its place from the previous scene. A strange boy appeared from behind the curtains and, as if it intentional, moved the tombstone behind its stand. Ebeneza finally turned to face him. “What day is it?” In his horrible English accent, the young boy responded, “Die?” (“Yes, Die, we all shall Die! Did you not notice your tombstone in your bedroom?”) As if correcting his horrible pronunciation, the actress repeated, “Yes, what day!” The answer of course was “Christmas Die,” the holiday we have all come to dread.
As the show came to an end and the actors took their bows (and hit each other), little tears had beaded up in my eyes … and yet not for the reason the cast might have intended. (In the Q&A session afterwards, one girl responded that the lesson she’d learned from doing the show was that “Christmas wasn’t just about getting stuff … it was about hanging out with people and eating, too.”)
(This review was migrated from another blog. This show took place on December 17, 2004.)