The Harbor Playhouse is about to be filled with wondrous Christmas spirit as this year’s production of the musical, A Christmas Carol, opens on Friday, Nov. 22.
The musical is based on the 1843 novella of the same name by Charles Dickens, and follows Ebenezer Scrooge on his evolution from crotchety and grumpy old man to his rediscovery of his long forgotten Christmas spirit, as ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future take him on a journey through his life, and show him how he’s affected the lives of those around him.
This year, the production has a cast of 63, and 22 techs working hard behind the scenes since mid-Oct. to bring to life the storied classic. This year the production, which has become a tradition at the Harbor Playhouse for the past five years, has undergone a renovation of sorts.
“This is a remarkable year, because this is the old standby; this is a show that the community loves. We could do it in our sleep, except for this year we've taken it with a fresh set of eyes,” said Todd Jones, playing Scrooge’s former partner Jacob Marley in the show. “There’s a lot more expected this year. It’s not just a show at the end of the year; we've taken it up a notch. It is going to be the show that it really deserves to be.”
Along with being a tradition at the Playhouse, A Christmas Carol has also become an annual event for families involved in the show, and in the community.
“This is my second year in the Christmas Carol, and what I love about this show is that it is so family-oriented, and it gets people in such a high Christmas spirit,” said 14-year-old Katie Allsup, a freshman at Calallen High School who is playing Emily, young Ebenezer Scrooge’s fiancé. “When this show happens, there’s just this feeling in the theatre of Christmas, and family, and love, and kindness.”
This year, the production has also added carolers into the mix, sending the group out into the community singing at special events all over the Coastal Bend. They will also be in the lobby singing carols before the show, during intermission, and are in the production as well.
All in all, A Christmas Carol promises to be a wonderful event for families in Corpus Christi; it just so happens to also be the show that is the dearest to Joseph Ruiz, the production’s director.
“This production is one of the most sincere in my heart; this is my favorite show of all time. This is one of those shows that’s a timeless classic,” said Ruiz. “This is the only place in South Texas that snows every year.”