A.C.T.'s Christmas Carol Gets Revamped for 2006 Run

News   A.C.T.'s Christmas Carol Gets Revamped for 2006 Run San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater have revamped their traditional holiday presentation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for this year's run.

Adapted by A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh (who also stages the work) and featuring original songs and score by Karl Lundeberg, the new Carol will play Dec. 5-24 with a Dec. 8 opening scheduled.

Dickens' classic tale concerns a miser who is visited by a number of ghosts who take him on a revealing journey into his past, present and future — all over the course of one Christmas Eve. The new take on the classic tale debuted at A.C.T. last year.

"In the past few months Paul and I returned to the Dickens novel and we asked ourselves what can we do to tell this story better?" Perloff stated in a release. "Drawing from the novel, we've decided to add more with the Cratchit family and their meal which is such an important part of Dickens' telling; we've given Scrooge a stronger entrance scene; we returned to the beautiful moment in the book when Old Scrooge reads the story of Ali Baba to his younger self; and we have brought more of the Ghost of Christmas Present into the story as a guiding force for Scrooge's tranformation."

In addition to the new and revised scenes penned by Perloff and Walsh, a major revision has been made to the musical score, including interpolating a new Christmas hymn (based on Dickens' own lyrics).

"Karl has also dramtically revised the score and added a beautiful new hymn to the center of the piece. These changes were added to be even truer to the source material and to really emphasize Scrooge's voyage from darkness to light, from seclusion to community," according to Perloff. The 2006 cast includes James Carpenter (an A.C.T. vet of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Doll's House) as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as well as Jack Willis (The Little Foxes) as the Ghost of Jacob Marley with returning stars Jud Williford as Bob Cratchit and Steve Irish and Sharon Lockwood as Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig.

A Christmas Carol will feature sets by John Arnone, costumes by Beaver Bauer, lighting by Nancy Schertler and sound by Jake Rodriguez. Val Caniparoli handles choregraphy and Laura Burton serves as musical director .

Tickets are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at (415) 749-2ACT (2228) or online at www.act sf.org.

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