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REVIEW: "A Christmas Carol" at the Lyric

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Tiny Tim (Myles Currin-Moore) and Ebenezer Scrooge (Dirk Lumbard) in the Lyric Theatre's performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Lyric Theatre has hung the holly, lit the lights and brought back its production of A Christmas Carol to the Plaza Theatre.

I’ve been praising the company’s Christmas Carol for several years and see no reason to stop now. Even the crankiest of Scrooges can enjoy this show.

For one thing, it’s more about peace on Earth, good will toward all than baby Jesus.

This production is in its second season. Lyric’s first Christmas Carol ran for five years, as will this one. Directed by Michael Baron, the show still uses his appealing adaptation of Charles Dickens. This isn’t a musical, but it includes about 20 songs performed by the cast to recorded accompaniment.

The production features some outstanding acting with most of the cast returning from last season. Dirk Lumbard is back as Ebenezer Scrooge. He isn’t above adding a little ham to the proceedings. His first utterance sounds like a growl.

Thomas E. Cunningham both frightens and delights first as Marley’s ghost and then as Mr. Fezziwig in a red coat that clashes with his carrot-top hair. Mateja Govich looks imperial—or divine—as the Ghost of Christmas Present. A crowd gives him a hardy “Huzzah!”

Andi Dema and Lexi Windsor are poignant in a scene between Young Scrooge and his beloved, Belle. Matthew Alvin Brown and Brenda Williams provide continuity as more-or- less narrators.

The Holly Cast of seven young actors played the reviewed performance. They will trade off with the Ivy Cast for other performances.

Baron emphasizes the ghost story in Dickens’s tale. In fact, the show may be too scary for young children. But people old enough to go to school will like having the wits scared out of them.

Kimberly Powers’s realistic scenic design and, especially, Weston Wilkerson’s lighting create quite a spectacle in the cozy Plaza. With the jolting sound design by Josh Schmidt and Brad Poarch, the show isn’t for the easily startled or the nervous. The ticking clock when Marley’s ghost first visits Scrooge is a Foley artist’s stock sound effect to create tension.

A center-stage turntable keeps the action flowing and presents the cast for curtain calls like a wind-up music box. Jeffrey Meek’s costumes are appropriately elaborate.

How well the show stands up to repeat viewings is a matter of individual preference. To me, it bears up pretty well, but you can see the surprise entrance of the Ghost of Christmas Past (Natalya Ferch) for the first time only once. Some people like the familiar, so you can make it a holiday tradition or sip this theatrical wassail when you’re in the mood for it.

"A Christmas Carol"
Thursday, November 30th, 2017 5:30pm to Sunday, December 24th, 2017 2:00pm
Lyric Theatre
1725 NW 16th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Prices from: $25.00

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Larry Laneer

Larry Laneer has reviewed theater for...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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