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"A Christmas Carol" at the ‘Iao!

December 6, 2010 - Trisha Smith
Don't miss your last chance to see Maui OnStage's presentation of this Dickens' classic.

A cleverly creative adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” runs at the ‘Iao Theater through this Sunday, Dec. 12.

The Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story is presented with music, and from what I've heard, is pretty damn good. I'm going Sunday... I like to wait until the very last minute to do everything, it seems. Ha ha!

Performances of "A Christmas Carol" have been running since Thanksgiving on Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m, Sundays 3 p.m. Tickets are $15,$20 and $40. The wonderful Michael Pulliam of Maui OnStage sent me this info and I'm posting it for your viewing pleasure. Don't be a Scrooge this holiday season! Just remember to open-heartedly live and love life, and enjoy how blessed we all are to be in paradise!

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Ugh, “A Christmas Carol” the mere cliché of it can transform us all into a 21st century Scrooge. For God’s sake, Mr. Magoo played Scrooge! There was a Scrooge episode of WKRP in Cincinnati (Dr. Johnny Fever was the Ghost of Christmas Future) and one can’t leave out Scrooge McDuck. But then there is Lehua Simon, a person that is so sweet that cynics like me wonder, "Really? Reeeally?" And alas, "Really... "

Maui OnStage’s production of “A Christmas Carol"—adapted by Tom Frey—is directed by Ariel Lehua Simon, who tackles the cliché with such tenderness that it is almost a brand new tale. The heart of the story is its point. Its point is to shake us all up and down a little bit. “Snap out of it!" as Cher would say, slapping some sense into her love in Moonstruck.

Miss Simon’s intention is not to present the most impressive production of “A Christmas Carol” in recent history, but to bring the tale to life and inspire its audience to give generously to charities this Christmas season. Although as a 40-year-old I tend to feel as if I already know everything about everything (yeah, right), I needed to find out if there might be something about “A Christmas Carol” that is slightly unknown. There is. First of all, Charles Dickens lived a reasonably comfortable middle class life as a child which lead to a very comfortable adult life. However, he did work very hard to get there. Once fame and fortune came his way, he had an overwhelming need to do something about the squalor in which so many Londoners lived.

After touring factories and sweat shops, he set his mind to writing a political pamphlet to convince the upper class to do something about the atrocities of 1840s industrial England. At approximately the same time Prince Albert imported the Christmas Tree from his native Germany. Soon came the first Christmas cards and the traditional imagery of Santa Claus. There was still an air of Oliver Cromwell’s disgust of frivolities in England. The Victorian age changed that. Trees, cards, parties, just like today became all the rage and the puritanical somberness faded away. In many ways Christmas keeps the US postal system in business. '

Inspired by the pop craze, Dickens political pamphlet evolved into the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. Its effects shook England up, slapped its face, and an age of charity ensued. A short book literally changed the world. (Pun intended.) Miss Simon, the director, will have Tiny Tim (played by the little hambone and future star Marley Mehring) as well as other cast members collect cash donations for a different Maui charities following each performance. Charities include the Maui Food Bank and the Pacific Cancer Foundation.

Playing Scrooge is Maui stage veteran Mark Collmer. Additional cast members include Gracie Clark as Christmas Future and Past, and Lee Garrow as Jacob Marley. “A Christmas Carol” is an ensemble piece in the truest sense of the word. Marley’s chains are only as strong as its weakest link. In the end, if Dickens’ tale via Dr. Johnny Fever, or a talking duck, can touch your heart, then that is Mr. Dickens gift to the world.

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Merry Christmas Maui!

Call the box office at 242-6969 and visit Maui OnStage via Facebook or at www.mauionstage.com

 
 

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