A Closer Look at A Christmas Carol – The Musical!
Every story we tell on the stage gets its start somewhere!
As Day 2 of our Scrooge’s Six Days of A Christmas Carol – The Musical here at Spokane Civic Theatre, we think Scrooge would prefer that we provide a little educational element to the mix! Here is a brief history from where the original story began to being on our very stage.
DISTANT PAST: A Man named Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was published on December 17, 1843. By Christmas that year, it had sold 6,000 copies. It’s popularity continued into the following year.
According to a History.com article, Dickens lived in Portsmouth, England where his father, a clerk in the navy pay office. He was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. This experience in his life very obviously influenced several of his works, including A Christmas Carol.
RECENT HISTORY: Making a Musical
The version of A Christmas Carol – The Musical you will see this holiday Season at Spokane Civic Theatre was create in 1994 by Alan Menken (music), Lynn Ahrens (lyrics and book), and Mike Ockrent (book).
The Music Theatre International website gives a little insight into this collaboration:
The creators were drawn together by the desire to make a show that could appeal to children who had never or rarely experienced live theatre. Ockrent in particular was inspired by the “Pantomimes” he would attend as a young child every holiday season in north London. As Ockrent says in his original director’s note, “I hope that kids and families will experience the same thrill I had all those years ago of enjoying the show and the wonderful reminder that nothing need remain the same, that within us all we have the capacity to share, communicate and love each other.
This rendition of A Christmas Carol – The Musical was first performed on the Paramount Theatre stage at Madison Square Garden. It came to be the longest running “major show” presented only as holiday engagement. The show was performed every December from 1994-2003 and was adapted for the screen in 2004 and shown on NBC (it starred Kelsey Grammar as “Ebenezer Scrooge” that time).
PRESENT DAY: On Civic’s Main Stage
Thomas Heppler reprises his role as “Ebenezer Scrooge” in this musical tale, with our new Artistic Director, Keith Dixon, making his Civic directoral debut. Heppler is joined by 47 other fantasic area volunteer actors, which makes this one of our largest-ever casts. This nearly village-sized group is joined by a top-notch team of numerous crew, show staff, and orchestra members that helped bring the details of this story to life.
We are so pleased to present this timeless narrative, from November 21 to December 20, 2014. Be sure to check our website for show dates and details. We encourage patrons to consider purchasing their tickets early this year, as some dates are already very close to selling out
Thank you again for your continued support – we wish you the very best for the upcoming holiday season!