Much like Christmas itself, Madison Square Garden's lavish A Christmas Carol has become a perennial event. For the eighth consecutive year, Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens' holiday musical will fill the Theater at Madison Square Garden: Nov. 23-Dec. 29. (The Theater at Madison Square Garden is a 5,600-seat house in the greater MSG complex.)
Tim Curry, filmdom's Frank `n' Furter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," will play Ebenezer Scrooge this year. Curry's New York stage appearances have been rare, his last being the musical My Favorite Year. He also sang the music of Kurt Weill in a November 2000 all-star Actor's Fund benefit in Los Angeles.
Past Christmas pennypinchers have included Frank Langella (2000), Tony Roberts (1999), Roger Daltrey (1998), Hal Linden & Roddy McDowell (1997), Tony Randall (1996), Terrence Mann (1995) and Walter Charles (1994).
Also in the Carol cast are Tommy villain Paul Kandel, a multi-year veteran of the MSG show as Marley; Gerry McIntyre as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Titanic cast-member Martin Moran as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Catherine Batcheller as the Ghost of Christmas Future.
For tickets $29-$69 and information on A Christmas Carol, officially opening Nov. 27, call (212) 307-4111. Susan Stroman's Contact and The Music Man went head to head at the 2000 Tonys, followed by her winning Tonys for directing and choreographing The Producers. This season, she helmed Thou Shalt Not and restages her London triumph, Oklahoma!. Original Carol director Mike Ockrent died in late 1999.
Designing the spectacle of A Christmas Carol are Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting), William Ivey Long (costumes), Tony Walton (sets) and Tony Meola (sound). Flying is by Foy, musical direction by Paul Gemignani, with orchestrations by Michael Starobin and Douglas Besterman.
— David Lefkowitz and Christine Ehren