Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a ringmaster, clowns and a trapeze? After 25 years, San Diego Repertory Theatre was tired of the same old Victorian England thing - they decided to place their Carol under the circus big top. The "circus fantasy spectacular", which began performances Nov. 25, will close Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
Ebenezer Scrooge becomes the tyrannical ringmaster of the Scrooge & Marley Circus who wants his performers to do three shows on Christmas Day. The 19th Century circus performers, including stilt-walkers, trapeze-artists, sword-swallowers and clowns, are disheartened, but three special spirits are about to transform Scrooge's plans and his life.
Mike Genovese stars as Scrooge. His recent credits include the Rep's The Illusion, Death of a Salesman and Uncle Vanya. Matt Walker, who plays both Fred and Marley's Ghost, won a 1999 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for 12th Dog Night.
Among the specialty circus performers, among them members of San Diego's Fern Street Circus and Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey's Circus, is the U.S.'s tallest sword-swallower, George "The Giant" McCarthur, who stands 7', 3''.
Joan Schirle directs. An actress, director and musican, Schirle most recently helmed the Rep's Picasso at Lapin Agile. Avenue X's Ray Leslee has composed the score. Designing the show are Trevor Norton (lighting), Giulio Cesare Perrone (costumes and sets) and Todd Reishman (sound).
Tickets are $22-$14. The Lyceum Theatre is located in Horton Plaza. For reservations, call (619) 544-1000. San Diego Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.sandiegorep.com.
— By Christine Ehren