Shaw Festival gets festive with two holiday classics, A Christmas Carol, and White Christmas
The Shaw Festival’s holiday spirits, um spirit, will take over the Royal George Theatre with the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, while Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the adored musical homage to romance and snow, takes stage at the Festival Theatre.
Molly Atkinson returns to direct The Shaw’s charming production of A Christmas Carol featuring Graeme Somerville as Ebenezer Scrooge, everyone’s favourite reformed curmudgeon. Nestled in the heart of the ultimate Christmas village, the charming holiday favourite A Christmas Carol returns to the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre. It’s the perfect annual reminder of what Christmas is all about. Arrive feeling “Bah, humbug!” and leave full of warm, fuzzy Christmas spirit.
Not sure if it was the lack of snow on the ground, or something else, but this production didn’t give off that holiday feeling. Perhaps it was the low budget set design that was meant to evoke laughter, but seldom did. The story strayed from the original, which is fine, but it also made it seem disjointed. The show also started late and ran well past its noted running time, perhaps because the 10 minute noted intermission wasn’t adhered to either. What was left is a production more suited to a highschool play than a professional Shaw experience. It was sold out though, so regardless of what’s on stage, people are back in theatres and craving some nostaligia.
Also appearing are Kristopher Bowman as Christmas Present and Kelsey Verzotti as Christmas Past, alongside Jason Cadieux as Mr. Hubble, Patty Jamieson as Mrs. Dilber, Andrew Lawrie as Bob Cratchit, Julie Lumsden as Emily, Marie Mahabal as Belle, Marla McLean as Mrs. Cratchit and André Morin as Fred, with Kerry Ann Doherty and Travis Seetoo.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Festival Theatre. is directed by Kate Hennig. This much-loved musical, based on the uplifting, timeless film of the same name, features well-known songs like “Blue Skies,” “I Love a Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the beloved title song, “White Christmas”.
Bob Wallace (Jeff Irving) and Phil Davis (Kevin McLachlan*), former soldiers turned successful song-and-dance duo, follow sister double-act Betty and Judy Haynes (Alexis Gordon and Mary Antonini) to Pine Tree, Vermont. Together they put on a show to save the Columbia Inn, now owned by their retired commanding officer General Henry Waverly (David Alan Anderson) and run by his wise-cracking housekeeper Martha Watson (Jenni Burke).
A Christmas Carol – Royal George Theatre, Nov 9 to 23, 2022
White Christmas – Festival Theatre, November 18 – December 23, 2022
Tickets are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) and online at shawfest.com.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.