Now in its fourth year running, LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, presented by Devon Energy, makes a triumphant return to Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s Plaza Theatre this holiday season. Running November 28 through December 27, the entire adult company from last year’s production of LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL will be returning.
“The power and joy that this production shares is evident in the fact that the whole adult company, a family in itself, is returning to perform this holiday classic,” said Michael Baron, Lyrics artistic director and director of this production. “Lyric is excited to welcome thousands of Oklahoma families to our theatre to experience the magic and power of this treasured story.”
The cast includes Chris Bloch as Scrooge, who has performed in the famous production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Other cast members include: Tom Huston Orr as Bob Cratchit, Matthew Alvin Brown as Fred/Young Scrooge, Mandy Jiran as The Ghost of Christmas Present, Jennifer Teel as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Thomas E. Cunningham as Jacob Marley/Mr. Fezziwig, Susan Riley as Mrs. Cratchit, Mateja Govich as the Solicitor/Undertaker, Lexi Windsor as Mrs. Fred, Melissa Griffith as Belle, Brenda Williams as Mrs. Dilber, and Charlie Monnot as Topper. In addition to the adult company, two casts of talented local children will also appear in the show on alternate nights.
In this Performing Arts Q&A session, I speak with director, Michael Baron.
What is it about A Christmas Carol that is so enduring?
Michael Baron: I think the message of helping those in need, love of family, and compassion for others is something people want to revisit each year. The story is also told in an exciting and magical way–full of ghosts, flying, dancing, and singing–that makes it wonderful to see live on stage.
What can people expect from this year’s production?
This production has been created so that, when the audience enters the theater, they are fully immersed in Dickens’ London.MB: This production has been created so that, when the audience enters the theater, they are fully immersed in Dickens’ London. The show happens all around them–in the aisles, on the stage, and even a ghost flies overhead. Audiences will see gorgeous period costumes, snowy Christmas memories, dancing, singing, and lots of surprises. Most importantly, audiences can expect heartfelt performances by some of Oklahoma’s best professional actors, Christopher Bloch from the Ford’s Theatre production in Washington, DC as Scrooge, and a charming bunch of talented young performers.
In what way does A Christmas Carol help to define the modern idea of Christmas?
MB: So much that happens in LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL still happens today. We still hope to get Christmas Day off from work, celebrate a holiday dinner with families, and go to holiday parties with friends. Most importantly, we still tend to think about helping those in need more during the holiday season through donations, food drives, and other fundraisers.
What role does humor play in the story?
MB: The story has many funny moments. Some are at the expense of Scrooge’s bad behavior, but at other times we get to see the joy of the holidays through people Scrooge knows. From the Cratchit family dinner to Fred’s party, lots of laughs are had by the characters as well as the audience.
What do you think is the one, single, most important, main conflict this story is about?
MB: The main conflict is watching Scrooge’s struggle from a life of greed and isolation to one of redemption and community.
Could a close look at one’s life and direction really bring about such a drastic transformation in a short amount of time?
Each day is a chance to look at your life anew and become a better person.MB: Of course! Each day is a chance to look at your life anew and become a better person.
New this year are added Sunday matinee performances on November 30, December 7, December 14, and December 21. An complete performance schedule can be found on Lyric’s website, LyricTheatreOKC.com.
Tickets for LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL are now on sale and start at $40. To purchase, call (405) 524-9312, visit LyricTheatreOKC.com or stop by Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street in Oklahoma City.