Theater Review: Theater Barn’s ‘Christmas Carol’ Familiar And Comfortable In Many Ways
RIDGEFIELD — In a pared down setting, akin to the theme of the play, Ridgefield Theater Barn is staging a production of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, starring Patrick Spadaccino. The actor plays 25 roles.
Rendering every character in this timeless Christmas classic, Spadaccino is masterful. In authentic British style, he quietly narrates the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation.
Wrought by a series of ghostly visitations and interactions with those who populate his daily life, Mr Scrooge comes to understand the error of his miserly ways and hastily sets about to remedy his relationships.
The ghost of Scrooge’s departed partner, Jacob Marley, warns him of the guests he can expect in the coming nights. Spadaccino carefully and excellently develops the energy and excitement of his main character as he comes to his awakening. This gifted actor distinctly draws each of his many characters through vocal and physical adjustments which are lively and impressive.
Alone on stage for a full 90 minutes, save for the spectral visitors — which he also voices — Spadaccino gives a vivid and captivating performance. The opening night audience laughed and cried as they were fully engaged in this well-known play. It was a heartwarming and hopeful evening at the theater.
The spare set and staging by director Scott Brill offered the perfect backdrop for this stellar performance. Minimal costuming added to the unfussy nature of this production.
The lighting design and sound by Matt Pagliaro and Matt Austin portrayed the ghosts with fog and movement, creating an ethereal presence.
Produced by Pamme Jones, the choice of this play, its actor, and crew were perfect in this time. The audience was carefully distanced, the space fully ventilated and cleaned. All safety measures are in place, providing a venue to relax and enjoy this exceptional performance of a familiar and comforting Christmas tradition.
Adapted by its lead performer, A Christmas Carol continues at Ridgefield Theater Barn until December 20. Live and virtual tickets are available; live seating is limited due to COVID-19; distancing and reservations are required.
Tables are six feet apart and at least 12 feet from the stage. There is a maximum capacity of eight tables, for 32 seats total. Masks are required.
Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons.
Visit ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org for full performance details and reservations.