Westport artistic director Tazewell Thompson directs the holiday classic boasting a tune-stack of Christmas music: "The Holly and the Ivy," "Carol of the Bells," "Here We Come A-Wassailing," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," "In The Bleak Midwinter," "The Coventry Carol" and "Heigh-Ho the Holly."
Thompson has made music a central part of the Westport production, intending that this adaptation will become an annual holiday offering for the renowned playhouse. The design for this year's production will transport the playhouse back in time to show what Westport's barn-like structure would have looked like had it existed in the 1800's.
The Westport cast for A Christmas Carol comprises Wynn Harmon (Porgy and Bess) as Scrooge, Howard Kaye (Miss Saigon) as Marley, Forrest McClendon as Ghost of Christmas Past, Christianne Tisdale (Beauty and the Beast) as Christmas Present and Mrs. Fezziwig, Steven Stein-Grainger (Sunset Boulevard) as Fezziwig, Nick Cordileone as Bob Cratchit, Mary Jo Mecca as Mrs. Moggs, Zachary James (Coram Boy) as Christmas Future, Marcy McGuigan (42nd Street) as Mrs. Cratchit, Bryant Martin as Young Scrooge, Nicholas Galbraith as Fred, Rebecca Strimaitis as Belle and Alice, Will Ray Topper, Carey Brown as Annabella and Jonathan C. Kaplan (Falsettos) as Brother.
The children in the production, some of whom share roles, include Luke Sauer and Camden Archambeau as Tiny Tim, Jordan Bloom, Martin Menz, Emma Ruchefsky, Peter Sauer, Emma Langdon, Brandon Rakowski, Noah Witke, Claire Hilton, Ayla Guttman, Caroline Chanin, Leigha Nicoloro, Juliette Nicoloro and Meaghan Elliot.
In keeping with the season, Westport Country Playhouse is reaching out to theatergoers who have tickets for a Broadway production currently cancelled by the stagehands strike. Those possessing tickets to Broadway shows canceled by the strike can present their tickets at the Westport box office to receive $10 off admission to A Christmas Carol on the Westport stage. Theatregoers will be able to keep their Broadway tickets in case they are needed to obtain refunds from the Broadway productions.
The company's artistic director Tazewell Thompson commented, "We want to keep theatre in people's lives. The Playhouse has all the production values of Broadway, yet it's nearby." Westport has an extensive history with Broadway — 35 of its productions have made Broadway transfers.
The creative team for A Christmas Carol includes Brian Allan Hobbs as musical director, Donald Eastman as set designer, Merrily Murray-Walsh as costume designer, Robert Henderson as lighting designer, Fabian Obispo providing sound design and composition, and Deena Kaye as dialect coach. Musical arrangements are by Dianne Adams McDowell.
A Christmas Carol continues through Dec. 29. Tickets are available by calling (203) 227-4177 or by visiting www.westportplayhouse.org.