Boldly going where he has gone before, Patrick Stewart returned to Broadway for a week to revive his solo, A Christmas Carol. The eight performances, Dec. 24-30, at Broadway's Marriott Marquis Theatre aren't quite sold out but have been selling "phenomenally well," according to spokepersons.
Stewart, star of TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation," did three sold-out holiday seasons of the show, in 1991, 1992 and 1994, plus engagements in London (1993) and L.A. (1996). The one-man production uses minimal set pieces, relying instead on Dickens' text and Stewart's ability to portray every character in the story.
According to spokespersons at the Publicity Office, proceeds from the current mounting are all going to charity, with the Dec. 28 show specifically earmarked for the Actors' Fund's Sept. 11th Campaign. It's expected that when the run's done, the producers will want to trumpet just how much Carol raised for its charities, the Coalition for the Homeless and Food For Survival, Inc.
A noted Shakespearean actor well before achieving international stardom as Captain Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Stewart has been an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1967, and with them has played such classical roles as King John, Shylock, and Henry IV. He returned to Shakespeare to portray Prospero in the Public Theater's production of The Tempest, which played in Central Park and on Broadway. His last Broadway stint was The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, in which his public quarrel with the producers over their marketing of the show overshadowed the play's modest run.
Stewart's non-"Star Trek" TV roles include Sejanus in "I, Claudius," Karla in "Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy," and "Smiley's People," and Salieri in "the Mozart Inquest." Tickets are available now for those seven performances through Ticketmaster, (212) 307-4100, (800) 755-4000. For the Actors' Fund show, call (212) 221-7300, ext. 133. The Marriott Marquis Theatre box office opened Dec. 10.