A Christmas Carol – A Review

Triad-Stage-ImageI want to forget that I’m in a theatre when I’m in a theatre. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, yes, for Triad Stage’s production of the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. An insert in tonight’s program asked for my feedback.

What did you like about the production?

I liked certain performances within the production. Namely, Gordon Joseph Weiss as Ebenezer Scrooge, Izzy Goff as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Michael Tourek as Mr. Fezziwig, and Rosie McGuire as Mrs. Fezziwig and the Ghost of Christmas Present.

But my favorite performance was the set, itself. As always, the behind-the-scenes powerhouse is what brings to life every production I’ve ever seen at Triad Stage, and it’s always transformative. Completely dependent upon one another, and of equal importance, are the set, the lights, the sound, and the projection. I was not disappointed in their ability to transform a small space in downtown Greensboro into 1843 London. Thank you for your brilliance.

Was there anything you didn’t like?

Yes, thank you for asking.

1. All the principle roles were the exact same actors as the 2010 production.
2. The blocking was almost identical to the 2010 production.
3. The performance lacked ensemble cohesion and believability. (I had to rely on standout performances for my entertainment.)
4. There were audio issues and it was difficult to hear some of the performers’ lines.
5. It was difficult to understand all of the actors’ lines – bad diction in many instances.
6. The performance of Triad Stage newcomer Kendra Woodfolk (Charity Woman/Belle/Edwina/Young Wife) was bad, at best, and for someone with as many lines as she had, this really caused a disturbance in the force.
7. What is with the Ghost of Christmas Present and her song?! We so hoped that would be absent from this year’s production, but, alas, no – it was every bit as confusing to us as to what it has to do with Dickens’ original tale. But props for a lovely voice. Wait. Is that why it’s there? Because Preston Lane‘s adaptation is really designed to showcase specific actors and their talents? Nah. I’m sure that’s not the case. (see #1)

Every time I started to lose myself in the story (and this was with some effort), something (see items 1-7 above) jolted me to the reality I was still sitting in the theatre. I expect a lot from Triad Stage; they’re a professional theatre company, and bill themselves as such.

Have we really tapped out Greensboro’s talent that we needed to bring back almost the identical cast from last year? Is it a prerequisite that in order to participate in a Triad Stage production you have to have acted in a minimum of two, but as many as six, previous Triad Stage productions? (I counted – and that’s what tonight’s playbill indicated.) Perhaps Triad Stage should bill themselves as a green theatre company because they keep recycling the same actors.

Would you recommend this production to a friend? Why or why not?

Tough question. The overall production felt forced and choppy, and lacked the theatre magic to tie it all together. If you are interested in watching individual actors perform their parts with magnitude, go right ahead and reserve your tickets. Just don’t expect to forget where you are because you will be reminded time and again that the Ghost of Get Me Out of Here still hasn’t arrived, and you won’t find me giving an undeserved standing ovation.

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About Arminda Lindsay

Arminda is Vice President of Whetstone Leadership, providing a brilliantly different approach to management and leadership training for business professionals.

A social media addict and promoter, a marketing junkie, film & stage actor, an avid swing dancer, and a writer, you can find Arminda regularly chiming in on Twitter, and her allarminda Facebook page, or read her random blog at http://www.allarminda.com.

  • Appreciate your candor Arminda. Have not yet been to A Christmas Carol, but now I am curious. The set sounds amazing and I look forward to comparing notes!