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

2021-11-26 2:21:00 AM
Review: Dolly Parton’s musical take on A Christmas Carol is a fun return to the theatre, but needs some fine-tuning

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

Theatre Review, Christmas

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

Little things were the problem such as the audio being muffled at times, making it difficult to hear some of the dialogue

A Christmas Carolpremiered 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.

Arts Club TheatreInto the lobby – which was packed. I felt a tiny bit anxious. It’s been a long 20 months. The sold-out theatre itself was also a squeeze. The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, as lovely as it is, does not offer the sort of roomy comfort seating you might find at the multiplex. I dug into my bag for a second mask. I reminded myself that public-health officials are allowing full-capacity audiences, if we are vaxxed and masked. So, on with the show.

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2, 2022 The Christmas before the pandemic hit, a new holiday musical had its world premiere. Based on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol , but set in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression, the show featured songs and music by Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol premiered in Boston in December, 2019. Whoever did it slipped away. 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.S.

Dolly Parton. Since at least 2015, vandals have cut up screens, sometimes in front of the audience, and, in some cases, sprayed noxious substances into the air in an apparent attempt to sabotage screenings. Charles Dickens. Christmas. A return to a full musical theatre production after 20 months of pandemic hiatus. “The threat is real,” said Saleem Padinharkkara, a film distributor in Waterloo. The full package. This section is only a short drive from Lytton, B.

Andrew Wheeler and David M. Adams in Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol. In the early 2000s, three independent theatres in the Toronto area were known for screening Indian films in Tamil and other languages. Arts Club Theatre Let’s start outside the theatre, on a rainy Wednesday night in Vancouver. Ten minutes before the advertised start time, the line on opening night was still wrapped around the corner and way down the block. Before taking the long walk to the back of that line, I stopped at the box office to pick up my tickets.) For distributors, the interest from Cineplex created a bigger market, increased competition and gave moviegoers a better experience. Ministry of Transportation The Globe and Mail appears to be quite confident that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is strenuously working behind the scenes to remove the “deputy” part of her title .

(Out of habit, I guess. It’s been a while.) The gentleman behind the glass informed me that the tickets were on my phone, of course, attached to an e-mail. “I’m not interested in doing movies any more because of these issues,” he said. “Welcome to the 21st century,” he said. The line was organized and moved quickly: First, they checked our vaccination QR codes, then our ID, then the tickets (on our phones). Advertisement This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Very smooth. Cineplex cancelled remaining screenings in the Greater Toronto Area. Into the lobby – which was packed. I felt a tiny bit anxious. It’s been a long 20 months. Vasudevula said, “but they didn’t accept it. The sold-out theatre itself was also a squeeze.” Barbados, whose prime minister is pictured here laughing it up with Prince Charles, officially removes Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state next week.

The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, as lovely as it is, does not offer the sort of roomy comfort seating you might find at the multiplex. I dug into my bag for a second mask. On a Friday afternoon, a man wearing black pants and a black hoodie slashed the screen and sprayed audience members with what police believe was bear spray. I reminded myself that public-health officials are allowing full-capacity audiences, if we are vaxxed and masked. So, on with the show. The artistic and executive directors delivered some lovely opening remarks, thanking staff and patrons for supporting the arts and noting how good it felt to be back together. Mr. Advertisement This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

“I will never ever take that for granted ever again,” said artistic director Ashlie Corcoran. Amen. The adaptation is not a jukebox musical – there is no character named Jolene; Santa’s Elves do not burst into a rendition of 9 to 5 to protest their working conditions. Padinharkkara said. The songs were mostly written for the show (or, as in Circle of Love , adapted). The show is set in 1936 in a tiny impoverished mining town. Earlier this month, a small group of feral hogs were spotted for the first time in Pickering, Ont.

It’s Christmas Eve and the richest man in town, Ebenezer Scrooge (a terrific David M. “We could pretty much go out of business. Adams), is preparing to kick a family out of their home – a foreclosure. Arriving home that evening, Scrooge forbids his housekeeper (Madeleine Suddaby, also excellent in various roles) from even mentioning the holiday. He scoffs at her one attempt at festivity – adding raisins to his nightly dinner of oatmeal. The three Toronto-area theatres that have long screened Tamil films – Albion, Woodside and York cinemas – have found themselves under suspicion of orchestrating the attacks, and some distributors are reluctant to deal with them, despite no evidence linking them to the vandalism. And then, to bed. His team actually is quite ethnically diverse, but what got Kambhampati rejected was when he told the feds that rather than their immutable characteristics.

The adaptation is not a jukebox musical. The songs were mostly written for the show. “All of the locations have been victims of vandalism many times over the years,” the representative wrote, declining to offer specifics. Arts Club Theatre The basic plotline is familiar, with visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. We see young Scrooge on two Christmas Eves of his youth, with important people in his life: his sister and, in a subsequent year, the woman he wants to marry. Problem: these two women are played by the same actor (Synthia Yusuf, who is very good) with no discernable change of costume – at least not anything that I noticed – leading to some confusion. Cineplex cancelled future screenings in Richmond Hill and Oakville after the screens were damaged, according to Bijo Sebastian, the movie’s distributor. So, if there’s 10 white people and three Indo-Canadians, say, the three Indo-Canadians’ votes will be given the same weight as the 10 white folks’.

Wait – was Scrooge sweet on his sister? What? It didn’t help that the audio was muffled at times, making it difficult to hear some of the dialogue. The six-piece band, playing live onstage, was fantastic. But even these talented musicians could not elevate some of the songs. Mr. The lyrics were not clever and too repetitive – missing that true Dolly sparkle. Some of the numbers felt as drab as the show’s colour palette.

And insipid might be too mild a word for some of the dialogue: “Christmas ain’t about the tree, Mr. Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Scrooge. It’s about the people who gather around it.” 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. I suspect – and hope – that as the show gets further into the run, many of these kinks will have been worked out, both offstage and on. As we return to the theatre (and thank goodness for that), there are some key things that must be in place. People need to feel welcome and safe, and the entertainment value has to be worth it – worth the risk, however small; worth the money in tight times; and even worth putting on hard pants and dragging yourself out of the house. Theatre companies need all the support we can give them – and we need theatre just as much.

Even if this wasn’t the perfect show, it still felt exciting to be there. Everyone played their part: the crew, performers, administrators, front-of-house staff – and the people who bought tickets and headed out on a rainy night in spite of everything. God bless them, every one. In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a critic’s pick designation across all coverage.

(Television reviews, typically based on an incomplete season, are exempt.) Keep up to date with the weekly Nestruck on Theatre newsletter. .