Great Review of Charleston Stage’s A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol:  A Ghost Story of Christmas by Charleston Stage, Charleston, SC

by Tracey Brewer

Our family of four attended A Christmas Carol:  A Ghost Story of Christmas on a recent evening and was thoroughly entertained by this enchanting show.  A musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, it was performed by Charleston Stage and directed by Julian Wiles.  This is an annual affair and runs for several weeks during the month of December.

We found the entire production to be very professional and well-orchestrated.  It was held in the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, a charming old building located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.  Seating was plentiful and comfortable and, from our location about ten rows back, the acoustics were excellent.

The casting of characters was delightful, with the part of Ebenezer Scrooge played by David Ardrey.  He executed the role flawlessly and with great emotion.  Justin Tyler Lewis as Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, carried off his part equally well.  Many of the cast members played multiple roles, seamlessly changing from one to the other according to the scene.  The actors were certainly talented and well-rehearsed, yet brought their own personalities to their characters.

The musical pieces, some of which included dancing, were enjoyable and featured solo as well as group numbers. The set and costumes were well-designed with evident attention to detail in their historical accuracy. Among the most creative was that of The Ghost of Christmas Future, who never spoke a word, but was quite an imposing figure. 

Our nine-year-old daughter was enthralled from the beginning to the end of this nearly two-hour show. Our seven-year-old was slightly frightened by the special effects that accompanied the entrance of each of the spirits, but on the whole found it quite enjoyable. My husband and I were pleased with the family-friendly aspect of the show as well as the quality of the performances.

Although the tale of Scrooge is well-known and often repeated, this was a presentation to remember.  Sly humor was woven throughout and the message of the story – rediscovering what is truly important in life – shone through.  Overall, this was a pleasurable way to spend an evening together as a family and brought the spirit of the holiday season to the forefront of our minds.

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