Cultural Arts Review

10 01 2011

Abby Murray-Nikkel

Mr. Haning

Varsity Chorus 1st period B

January 10, 2011

Cultural Arts Review-“A Christmas Carol”

I had the opportunity to attend “A Christmas Carol” produced by the Gilbert Theater this Christmas season. Their presentation of the classic was both impressive and heartwarming. Overall, the acting, costumes, and scenery were satisfactory, even to one who has seen and read the story multiple times.

The narrator, a cute old lady, set the mood for the story by drawing the audience in with her enthusiastic way of speaking. The elaborate costumes, complete with old-fashioned bonnets, muffs, and hoop skirts, along with the realistic scenery, sucked us all back into the nineteenth century.

The story begins with an overall agitated and depressed mood. Scrooge rejects any type of kindness shown to him, and causes everyone around him to adopt his unhappy mood, with the exception of his nephew, who is cheerful and hopeful no matter what.

The play starts to get good when Scrooge is first introduced to a ghost-his good friend and business partner Marley gives him a good surprise when he shows up at Scrooge’s house on Christmas Eve. Marley informs Scrooge of all the mistakes he made in his life by loving money and business too much, and not caring for the people around him, and he tells Scrooge that he will be doomed forever if he does not change his ways. This scene is pivotal to the rest of the play, because it reveals, to the audience and to Scrooge, what the rest of his night will include. In my opinion, this scene was not done as well as it should have been. Though Marley’s ghost had an adequate costume and delivered his lines correctly, there was a lack of passion and emotion in his portrayal. This hindered me from being absorbed in the play and really believing everything that was going on. However, after this scene, this did turn around, and I was able to follow along much better.

One of my favorite scenes in the play was when Scrooge was a young man who fell in love. The emotions he portrays are so uncharacteristic of the Scrooge that we first meet. He is so overwhelmingly happy when first in love, but then we suddenly see a change in him. The woman he loves tells him that he is a different man, that his heart has changed. He no longer passionately loves her, he now loves money more than anything, and this causes her to leave him. Scrooge shows no strong emotions when she leaves, because he is already consumed by his love of money. This scene speaks to me because it shows how easily a person can change from being loving and caring to greedy and cold. Increasingly in our society, people focus on material things to satisfy them, and this example should serve as a warning to us all.

Another scene that stood out in my mind is when Scrooge sees people’s reactions to his death; no one seems to be sad. A few men who are talking about it wonder what will happen to all of his money. A poor couple is happy to hear of his death because they were indebted to him. This made me think about how important it is to think about what kind of legend you will leave on earth when you are gone. Scrooge obviously was not very concerned with this, but this is an important thing for us all to consider when evaluating our actions and how they affect other people and the world itself.

In the end, Scrooge changes his ways and becomes a person who is kind to all and who keeps Christmas in his heart all year long. His transformation is important because it shows us that it is never too late to change our ways for the better. This classic story serves as a great reminder at Christmastime, which is now so focused on consumerism, that the most important thing in life is our connections with one another.




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