The Westport staging, under the direction of artistic director Tazewell Thompson, will feature numerous songs from the Christmas canon, including "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," "Heigh-Ho the Holly" and more. Musical arrangements are by Dianne Adams McDowell.
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.
"I cut my teeth on Charles Dickens," Thompson states. "As a child, my grandmother gave me Grimms' Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Andersen and Dickens. What I most enjoyed about Dickens' writing was that he took me on great storytelling journeys, and he portrayed bold, edgy, idiosyncratic characters who were very lively and colorful. His work showed me a great panorama of mankind.”
The Westport cast of A Christmas Carol will feature 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. The creative team for A Christmas Carol comprises 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.
A Christmas Carol will begin performances Nov. 23 and continue through Dec. 29. Tickets are available by calling (203) 227-4177 or by visiting www.westportplayhouse.org.