Christmas Carol 1941 at Arena

November 28, 2007

I just saw Christmas Carol 1941 at Arena.

Oy vey!

The experience feels like playwright James Macgruder wanted to write an anti-war play set in Washington during WWII, but the only way he could get it produced was by grafting it on to A Christmas Carol.  (Sort of like avant garde filmmakers who can only get jobs in porn.)  And to give it a holiday edge, why not shoehorn in some forgettable songs by Henry Krieger and Susan Birkenhead?

Some valient performances, serviceable choreography, and costumes that told a better story than the script. Some thoughts:

  • Why? Why?  Why?
  • Did the director or anyone on staff sit in any of the seats behind the set piece that obstructs the view in the corner of the theater?  Or did they decide that obscuring this play enhances the experience so the ticket price is a wash?
  • Did nobody heed the warning when they noticed that even Nancy Robinette at full twinkle couldn’t make the dialogue work?
  • Were they so desperate to get Floyd King that they made the leading actor portray him throughout the piece?

Here’s the Washington Post review.