Review: Dolly Parton’s musical take on A Christmas Carol is a fun return to the theatre, but needs some fine-tuning

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Dolly Parton’s musical take on A Christmas Carol is a fun return to the theatre, but needs some fine-tuning

The Christmas before the pandemic hit, a new holiday musical had its world premiere. Based on the Charles Dickens classic, but set in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression, the show featured songs and music by Dolly Parton.premiered in Boston in December, 2019. Christmas 2020 was a wash, of course. So when the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver announced that it would open its abbreviated 2021-22 season with the musical’s Canadian premiere, it felt like a gift.

The line was organized and moved quickly: First, they checked our vaccination QR codes, then our ID, then the tickets . Very smooth. It didn’t help that the audio was muffled at times, making it difficult to hear some of the dialogue. The second act was a big improvement, beginning with a centre-stage hoedown that was more spirited than most of what came before. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – a hooded spectre who communicated only by violin – was brilliant. And the happy ending, which we all knew was coming, did bring the joy.


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