A concert version of Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, will make its premiere at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts November 17–18.
Featuring music by Parton—a Tony nominee for 9 to 5—with a book by David H. Bell, the adaptation is by Bell, Paul T. Couch, and Curt Wollan, who also directs. Tim Hayden is the musical director.
“Writing the songs for this musical was such a fascinating process for me,” said Parton in a statement. “Of course, I’m familiar with A Christmas Carol, but creatively, I had such a good time relating to these characters and their stories in a way that let me reminisce about growing up in the Smoky Mountains where often times, love was the greatest and most precious gift we had.”
Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, mining company boss Ebenezer Scrooge meets the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, rekindling a spark of humanity in his hardened heart.
“All the dialogue, and all of Dolly Parton’s songs will be performed, but there will be no scenery or costumes,” stated Ordway Producing Artistic Director Kaats. “This format, which is almost like a radio play, and sometimes called a ‘staged-reading,’ is how most new plays or musicals are presented for an audience for the first time.”
Parton, who has had great ratings success in recent years with made-for-television musicals on NBC, is not scheduled to perform. The presentation will feature nine Twin Cities performers and a band of six Nashville musicians.