Prana Presents A Christmas Carol
“Ever afterwards…it was said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! So, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!” Thus ended Charles Dickens’ tale. This version at Prana, sold out tonight and offered twice on Saturday 12/7 at 1:30 and 3:30, overflows with this spirit.
Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Allyson Forbes, the omnipresent narrator by Julia Quatromoni, and Bob Cratchit by Alex Cashin, all masterfully. But the rest of the 13 actors take numerous roles to portray over 30 characters in this remarkably compact one-hour version of this story. With updated dialogue from the 21st century, Scrooge is told wittily by the Ghost of Christmas Past “You don’t get it, do you?” But most of the lines are straight out of the 1871 original. “Are there not still prisons, and workhouses?” asks Scrooge, as relevant as today.
The costumes are sumptuous. The ladies in Nephew Fred’s parties wear a dazzling array of lace collars, red and green velvets, pearls, silks, satins and sparkles. The Cratchit women wear modest calico skirts, white aprons, period shawls and leather shoes of the era. The gentlemen are stylishly decked out in velvet waistcoats, cravats and top hats in vibrant reds and blacks. Bob Cratchit’s position, however, is told by his tightly wrapped scarf and fingerless gloves. The most outstanding touch was a crown on pretty Margaux Pellissier, as the Ghost of Christmas Past, festooned with holly and berries. The Ghost of Christmas Future, draped all in black and one bony hand, could be the prototype for the Grim Reaper.
Cheerily sung Christmas carols, eerily creaking sound effects when Marley’s Ghost appears (Sadie Hermann), realistic old clocks sounding the hour, and the flicking of lights give the story believability. Give yourself an early present and go see this dose of Christmas cheer at 21 Charles Street, Prana Center, before you miss the show of the season.