The enchantment begins the moment you enter the winter wonderland lobby, all white branches and lights; it’s the annual tradition of A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within and what a glorious reunion it is. Whether it is your third, fourth or first time seeing this fresh adaptation, you will be swept away by the beauty, charm, music, whimsy and emotion of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Freddy Douglas once again leads us on our journey as the dashing and erudite narrator. Douglas deftly paints the picture for us as Jeanine Ringer’s stunning set and Angela Balogh Calin’s sumptuous costumes viscerally transport us to a cold Christmas Eve in 18th century London. When we first meet Geoff Elliott’s Scrooge, one can’t imagine a man more miserly, miserable and mean. He’s terrible to his clerk, a humble and noble Eric Curtis Johnson as Bob Cratchit, and has not a kind word for his nephew, Fred, Christmas carolers or anyone for that matter. All of which makes his ultimate transformation all the more satisfying and emotional. It’s a tour de force performance from Elliott, who clearly relishes the role.
Deborah Strang makes a bold and beautiful entrance as the ghost of Christmas past who escorts Scrooge through his childhood and a past love that he carelessly let go. Stephen Weingartner makes for a boisterous ghost of Christmas present in one of the most impressive costumes in the show. Jill Hill is a spunky and stalwart Mrs. Cratchit who, together with the wonderful Cratchit children, creates some of the most poignant moments in the show. Eli Stuart charms as Tiny Tim and Rafael Goldstein reprises his role as Fred and young Scrooge to touching effect.
The rest of the cast is also stellar with Jeremy Rabb taking on the role of old Marley, Allison Elliott as Belle, Taleen Shrikian as Fred’s Wife along with Savannah Gilmore, Jack Elliott, Ashlyn Woo, Samuel Genghis Christian, Rigel Blue Pierce-English, Megan Farber, Tyler Miclean, Seven Pierce-English and Richy Storrs.
Our journey ends with joyful singing and a final and most sincere wish of Merry Christmas from a transformed Scrooge that is heartwarming and full of hope.
A Christmas Carol runs through Dec. 23. (626) 356-3100-anoisewithin.org-Youth tickets (6-17) available. A Noise Within is located at 3352 E. Foothill Blvd in Pasadena.