A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play
There’s a reason Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been so popular for more than 175 years. We love Scrooge’s tale of redemption. We never tire of it. We know Scrooge does not want to go on this journey of self-discovery; but, thankfully, he must for his own good.
Marley’s ghost reflects on his own enlightenment when Scrooge tells him he was always a good man of business. Marley responds, “Business? Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business. Charity, mercy, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the ocean of my business.” Marley then sends three Christmas spirits to encourage Scrooge’s empathy and compassion for others.
As a young child, I vividly remember the strong impression the 1951 film Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, made on me … besides scaring me out of my wits. It remains my favorite film adaptation.
David Alberts’ A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show has a clever premise that tells the familiar story in a fresh, new way. The year is 1948. The sound effects artist, Bob, is the only one who can make it to the radio studio during a snowstorm. Since he is the only one at the station for this much anticipated live production of A Christmas Carol, complete with a studio audience, he is forced to assume all the roles as well as provide all the sound effects. The show must go on! Secretly, Bob has always wanted the opportunity to perform all the characters and he does a masterful job. He even plays the station’s announcer and provides the sole commercial message at the top of the show.
Our gifted actors, Charlie Shoemaker and Mike Tober, perform a tour de force 90-minute show without an intermission. They create over 30 characters while providing nearly 100 sound effects as well. They produce a moving show that is funny, heartbreaking, frightening, and ultimately joyful.
Charlie and Mike create similar, but not identical, virtuoso performances. If you love this ghost story of Christmas as much as I do, you’ll want to see both interpretations.
I can only hope you enjoy watching this show as much as I have enjoyed working with the talented team that mounted it. I am grateful to each one of them for their artistry and dedication.
And now, as Bob says, “… just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!” Oh, and “God bless us, every one.
-John H Potter