Mom in the City member and reviewer Lesley Thompson wrote the following:
This past Saturday, December 12th, my family and I saw Literally Alive Children’s Theatre’s latest musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol”. Since our last visit in September, where we saw “The Selfish Giant,” we have been eagerly awaiting their next production.
As we walked into the theatre, we saw the stage lined with teal paper, white frames sprinkled about and glue bottles clustered. The excitement of the children grew as we waited for the show to begin. As usual, it started with an optional workshop, which I highly recommend. A few of the main members of the company, including the artistic director, Brenda Bell, sat on the stage and broke down the performance – the storyline, the choreography, the music. I especially liked the way the choreographer, Stephanie Smith, explained why she chose specific movements and had the audience try them out. Then Eric Fletcher, who played the ghost of Jacob Marley, talked about how he made his lines sound more ghost-like. My children have been saying “Doooooooooooommmmm”in their best ghost voice the entire weekend. Mr. Fletcher then went on to familiarize the kids with the ghost costumes, the “scary” sounds and the movements, so they wouldn’t seem so scary when the show was going. For parents like me that have sensitive children, this was a lifesaver!!! Then the kids were called up to the stage for a craft that kept in the theme of the play – giving and generosity. They decorated frames that they could give as a gift. The buzzing hum of creativity at work consumed the theatre, until finally the masterpieces were revealed and the proud artists exited the stage with their creation in hand.
A few minutes later the lights dimmed, and the show began with “Deck the Halls,” sung by the company. The song broke into a very humorous exchange between Scrooge and the singers, imagine all of the different innuendos “Fa La La La La” could have. The company did a great job of keeping the momentum of the story, while finding places to pause and exchange jokes and add some comical movements, which kept the kids laughing and engaged the entire time. I especially thought Stephanie Smith’s choreography was stand out. She kept it simple, but really has a gift at communicating the emotion and the tone of the scene clearly. My 4-year-old son loved watching the “Ghost of Christmas Future” glide across the stage, never uttering a word, only pointing its boney hand. And my 6- year-old, loved the “Ghost of Jacob Marley” and his dancing chorus. When asked why this was his favorite part, my 6 year old replied, “Because it just looked so cool!” The message of the play stayed clear throughout, and it ended with the entire cast singing, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” I am always looking for ways to instill the true message of Christmas – one of giving and generosity –into my kids. This was a fun, festive musical that does just that. In fact, I left making specific decisions about how I was going to change and give more this holiday season. Perhaps the play was more for me than my kids after all.
“A Christmas Carol” will be shown through December 30, 2009 and is appropriate for all ages. For full details on the show and to purchase tickets, please visit Literally Alive’s site. Meanwhile, you can see a snippet of the performance below: