We all know the classic story of Scrooge and his ghostly acquaintances, we know the moral of the story and the need to share the joy and charity of the Christmas Spirit all year long. But do we? Do we actually keep that practice alive? In ZACH theatre’s newest incarnation of Artistic Director Dave Steakley’s Original Holiday Musical Adaption, you are reminded and shown how to keep the Christmas joy alive through the year. With a creative take on the seasonal classic Steakley takes us through Scrooges journey using top 40 hits that will remind you of this show all year round.
While the casting for this show is exceptional, filled with some of the best talent Austin has to offer, there are some surprise twist that you don’t expect. In a show centered around one man “Scrooge” he is not the focal point. The supporting characters are the real stars of this show! Michael Valentine as Freddie is exceptional, his voice is as pure as the jingle bells on Father Christmas’s sleigh! Valentine helps to start the show off and gets the entire audience on their feet as he is trying to reach his hardened uncle. Of course this story is not complete without the quintessential ghosts, starting off the trio of spirits is Kenny Williams as the “Ghost of Christmas Past.” William’s sassy one-liners and flamboyant personality make you wish for your own visit from this ghostly diva! His voice is golden and his character is one you will not soon forget!
While Valentine and Williams are sensational, it’s Chanel Haynes-Schwartz as the Ghost of Christmas Present and the shopkeeper Mrs. Gilchrist that is the star on top of this theatrical Christmas tree! Schwartz has the style and loving nature to make this ghost more than a reminder to be aware of what is around us but to live in the moment. Schwartz’s voice is the gold at the end of the rainbow, the sun shining though the clouds at the end of the storm, I could go on but I won’t. However, when she sings “Go Tell It On The Mountain” at the top of the second act her gospel history shine through and you go to church! Then there is the ever lovely Leslie Ann Leal as Belle the long lost love of Scrooge. Leal’s heartwarming rendition of “I Want To Dance With Somebody” makes every want to dance with her and make it all better.
Harvey Guion as Scrooge gives a unique twist to this typically predictable character. His characterization is nice because he shows his changes from the very beginning not waiting until he sees his own grave to start having a change of heart. The entire ensemble is excellent, from Harvey Guion as the iconic Scrooge to Joel Mercado-See who sings his heart out during Fezziwigs Hanukkah Party, to the Ghostly Trio of ladies who sing and dance into your heart during a creative sleigh ride through the years. This entire show is a solid win for the theatre audiences of Central Texas, a true triumph for Artistic Director Dave Steakley and the entire creative team at ZACH Theatre!
A Christmas Carol continues Tuesday-Sundays until December 27, 2015 for more information or tickets log onto http://www.zachtheatre.org