RHODY LIFE

Trinity's 'A Christmas Carol' is a virtual gem

Posted 12/23/20

Theater Review by DON FOWLER This is my 43rd year reviewing Trinity Rep's "e;A Christmas Carol."e; Every year, I marvel at the Tony Award-winning repertory company's ability to take the old classic, give it a spin, and come up with something new and

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RHODY LIFE

Trinity's 'A Christmas Carol' is a virtual gem

Posted

This is my 43rd year reviewing Trinity Rep’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Every year, I marvel at the Tony Award-winning repertory company’s ability to take the old classic, give it a spin, and come up with something new and exciting.

Artistic director Curt Columbus has accepted the COVID-19 challenge, engaged his talented troupe of actors and technicians, and given us an hour-long, multimedia, virtual production that we can enjoy at our leisure in the comfort of our own home.

And for free! Although this delightful, innovative treat is certainly worthy of a generous donation.

Joe Wilson Jr. once again plays Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly old man who learns to return the Christmas spirit to his heart.

Watching the production on our computer screen limits the panoramic effect of the huge upstairs Trinity space, but in contrast it allows close-ups of the characters and multiple screens to eliminate violating social distancing rules.

The play has been edited a bit. No playing games at the nephew’s house. No turkey boy. No big production numbers.

In their places we have beautiful illustrations of events, multi-screens with characters popping up to say their piece, and sweeping scenes of downtown Providence, Trinity (inside and out) and Scrooge’s bedroom on the Trinity stage.

To make the play even more intimate, viewers are asked to assemble a number of their own props, including bells, hats, pans and wooden spatulas, and even bubble makers.

The message of being responsible for each other is loud and clear. The dialogue is familiar as you wait for the classic lines “Are there no prisons?” and “I wish to be left alone.”

This is an inclusive “Carol,” as we meet Tiny Tim at the dinner table with his two dads in his blended family.

The credits fly by quickly at the end, making it difficult to catch the names of all the talented people in front and behind the cameras.

In addition to Wilson, you’ll see a number of Trinity regulars and many new faces.

Columbus ends by making a passionate plea for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

If you have not signed up for “A Christmas Carol,” I urge you to do so. There is an opportunity to make a donation when you do, although it is not required. You will be given a code number to access the website, and can watch it at any time up until Jan. 10.

Visit www.trinityrep.com to sign up and learn more.

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