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Christmas Carol 1

By Alicia Couch Payne

During the holidays, there’s no shortage of events looking to entertain audiences. Sometimes it can be difficult to weed through the large selection and spend your money on the event or play that will truly entertain you.  Let me help with this decision.

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The Ghost of Christmas Past showing Scrooge visions of Christmases Past.  Photo courtesy Todd Cleveland.

I had the pleasure of catching a classic Christmas tale at the Sylvia Beard Theater at the Buford Community Center.  Most people are familiar with the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.  I was skeptical about the play because I had seen various versions of the classic.  After just a few minutes into the play, my skepticism was gone.

Theatre Buford, the resident theatre group for the BCC, was able to cast the play perfectly.  The cast of twelve actors was superb. I was impressed with the actors’ English accents which most of the time I find that many actors over exaggerate their accents. Majority of the cast had multiple roles and every single one of them nailed every minute they were on stage.

The two main roles were that of Scrooge played by Mark Kincaid and Dickens played by Chris Mayers.  With Scrooge, I felt drawn in by his performance. I believed every emotion Kincaid portrayed, whether it was his disdain for all things Christmas and charitable or it was his sadness and regret over his past actions.  I laughed when he became overjoyed at the end and found his Christmas spirit. Dickens acted as the narrator of the play and the dialogue I found to be cheeky and really made the play. Dickens tied the entire play together and Mayers gave a noteworthy performance.

The cast is a talented crew with returning Theatre Buford veterans, Asia Howard (Christmas Past) and Chris Mayers (Dickens).  Rosa Campos (Niece & Ensemble) is a Buford native. Mark Kincaid (Scrooge) won a Suzi Bass Award (Atlanta’s version of the Tony Awards) for his performance as Louis De Rougemant in Shipwrecked.  Brandon Michael Mayes (Young Ebenezer & Ensemble)  is a talented young actor who is making his professional acting debut in A Christmas Carol.  Kincaid, Mayes, Campos, Chris Hecke (Bob Cratchit & Ensemble), Shaun Maclean (Marley & Ensemble), Dan Reichard (Ghost of Christmas Present, Collector 1, & Old Joe), Hayley Brown (Fan & Ensemble), Kelly Criss (Mrs. Cratchit, Collector, Businessman, & Ensemble), Kat Altman (Belle, Girl Cratchit, Businessman, & Maid), and Karah Adams (Tiny Tim) all are making their Theatre Buford debut.  Chris Hecke will be returning in Theatre Buford’s next production, A Streetcar Named Desire which runs February 15, 2019 – March 3, 2019.

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The Cast of A Christmas Carol takes a bow to thunderous applause from the delighted crowd.  Photo courtesy Todd Cleveland.

What really made this production of A Christmas Carol different and captivating for me was the way the actors played numerous roles, set changes between scenes, and the energy of the production.  Actors zipped on stage and off stage with speed. I have no idea how they managed costume changes so quickly. The actors were the stage crew who would change the set in between scenes.  The scenes changed in a blink of an eye so most props were on wheels for quick, easy changes.

A Christmas Carol is a Suzi Bass recommended play.  The Suzi Bass Awards are Atlanta’s version of the Tony Awards.  Being a Suzi Bass recommended play means that this production was deemed a play of a certain caliber of acting and production.  There will be judges attending random performances throughout the run of the show. This has the potential to earn Theatre Buford Suzi Bass Award nominations for A Christmas Carol.

Theatre Buford’s production of A Christmas Carol is a must see this holiday season for the young, the old, and everyone in between.  A Christmas Carol will run through December 16th at the Sylvia Beard Theater.  Tickets run between $30-$35 and can be purchased by going to https://www.bufordcommunitycenter.com/event/a-christmas-carol-presented-by-theatre-buford/.

 

BY:

advertise@northgwinnettvoice.com

Contributing Authors are not associated with the North Gwinnett Voice.

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