COSTA MESA, CA - Two of southern California's favorite year-end theatrical events, South Coast Repertory's productions of A Christmas Carol and the Octavio Solis-Marcos Loya musical La Posada Magica, will return to SCR this holiday season. The Dickens classic opens on the Mainstage Nov. 29 with a special "Opening Night" party and continues through Dec. 24. Magica opens on the Second Stage Dec. 10 and runs through Dec. 24.
Launched in Dec. 1980, A Christmas Carol, adapted by Jerry Patch from the Dickens novel and directed by John David- Keller, has become a holiday tradition for two generations of Orange County residents. At SCR, the cast has literally grown into their characters. Hal Landon, Jr., who originated the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in 1980 and appeared in all 20 subsequent productions, returns again as the most memorable miser in Christendom. With him are fellow SCR founding artists Richard Doyle, Art Koustik and Martha McFarland, as well as Keller, Devon Raymond, Susannah Schulman, Howard Shangraw, Richard Soto, Hisa Takakuwa, David Whalen and Time Winters.
La Posada Magica is now in its 7th annual year on the Second Stage. Diane Rodriguez makes her SCR directing debut staging this year's version. Magica is based on the traditional Latin American Christmas observance in which community members make a procession through their neighborhood to commemorate Mary and Joseph's search for lodging. This year's cast includes Denise Blasor, Sol Castillo, Armando Duran, Carla Jiminez, Sal Lopez, Benito Martinez, Tiffany Ellen Solano and Teresa Velarde.
In another end-of-year promotion, SCR (and Broadway Tours) is offering separate package trip to London (Dec. 27, 2000- Jan. 8, 2001) and New York (Dec. 27-Jan. 2). Headed by SCR managing director Paula Tomei and co-founder David Emmes, the London tour includes round-trip airfare from L.A., seven days and six nights in first-class hotels with full English breakfasts each day, and four theatre productions including The Lion King and The Witches of Eastwick. There are guided walking tours, excursions to Windsor Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Royal National Theatre. The $2195 price includes a London transport pass and all taxes.
The New York trip will take in such shows as Aida and The Full Monty. The price for seven days and six nights is $1995. For more information call Joy Sabado at (714) 708-5521.South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive. For tickets and information call (714) 708-5555.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent