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Toby’s Dinner Theatre A Christmas Carol

By • Dec 9th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
A Christmas Carol
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Toby’s Dinner Theatre-Columbia, MD
Through December 30th
2:00 with one intermission
$49-$54/$36 Children
Reviewed December 6th, 2012

If you are looking for a delightful holiday treat for the whole family, look no further than Toby’s A Christmas Carol. This is a truly magical production for audiences of all ages. It is a visual spectacle with a positive message of, not only holiday cheer, how to live your life to the best each and every day in the past, present, and future.

With a catchy and beautiful score by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens, this is a fast-paced version of the classic Charles Dickens novel. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who thinks Christmas is a humbug and has no charity for anyone. David Bosley-Reynolds is great in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. He meets all expectations for the role, physically and in his portrayal. He is great as both a curmudgeon and in his transition to truly loveable. He successfully carries the show.

Scrooge’s life is changed when he is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Andrew Horn). Horn is one of the best things in the show. He is absolutely phenomenal in the number “Link by Link.” He soars with the vocals and is right on with delivery and larger-than-life energy. The number is also an amazing meeting of choreography, lights, costumes, and awesome props. The number is creepy, visually stunning, and has touches of humor, like the chains used as jump ropes. This moment propels the show forward.

Following Marley are the ghosts of Christmas Past (Heather Beck), Present (Ray Hatch), and Future (Julia Lancione). All three are equally delightful in very different ways. Beck is the embodiment of sunshine; Hatch is full of vigor; and Lancione is elegant. Each is delightful and takes control of his/her portion of the show and brings it to life.

Helping them bring the life and world of Scrooge into reality is an incredibly strong supporting cast. Both younger versions of Scrooge (A.J. Whittenberger and Matthew Greenfield) successfully embody Scrooge’s gradual journey to the jaded man that he becomes. Whittenberger also has an especially beautiful voice that melts the room in “A Place Called Home.” As Cratchit, David James is very loveable. The rest of his family (Katie Heidbreder, Jennie Lutz, TJ or Thomas Langston) are also delightful. Celia Blitzer’s Mrs. Mops has a hysterical bit in the show, and she really steals a scene or two. Elena Crall is lovely as Emily and has a beautiful soprano. Jeffrey Shankle and Crystal Freeman bring great joy as the Fezziwigs. The rest of the ensemble brings all of London to life with professional precision and realistic Christmas heart.

All of these great performances are aided with exquisite choreography, an amazing lighting design, breathtaking costumes, beautiful set pieces, and well-used projections. This is definitely a top-notch production that will thrill and delight both young and old.

Cast

  • Carolers: Celia Blitzer, Ian Brown-Gorrell, Elena Crall, David Little
  • Beadle: Chad Wheeler
  • Mr. Smythe: Matthew Greenfield
  • Ebenezer Scrooge: David Bosley-Reynolds
  • Cratchit: David James
  • Old Joe: David Little
  • Martha Cratchit: Katie Heidbreder
  • Mrs. Cratchit: Jennie Lutz
  • Tiny Tim: TJ or Thomas Langston
  • Poultry Seller: Dayna Quincy
  • Nicholas: Scean A. Flowers
  • Fred Anderson: Ian Brown-Gorrell
  • Jonathan: A.J. Whittenberger
  • Blind Hag: Julia Lancione
  • Mrs. Mops: Celia Blitzer
  • Marley: Andrew Horn
  • Ghost of Christmas Past: Heather Beck
  • Judge: Jeffrey Shankle
  • Scrooge at 12/15: A.J. Whittenberger
  • Scrooge’s Father: Matthew Greenfield
  • Scrooge’s Mother: Ali Hoxie
  • Fan: Amanda Kaplan
  • Mr. Hawkins: Chad Wheeler
  • Mr. Fezziwig: Jeffrey Shankle
  • Scrooge at 21: Matthew Greenfield
  • Young Marley: Ian Brown-Gorrell
  • Emily: Elena Crall
  • Mrs. Fezziwig: Crystal Freeman
  • Ghost of Christmas Present: Ray Hatch
  • Sally Anderson: Ali Hoxie
  • Ghost of Christmas Future: Julia Lancione
  • Understudies: Chad Wheeler (Scrooge/Marley), Jeffrey Shankle (Cratchit), Katie Heidbreder (Christmas Past), Dayna Quincy (Christmas Present), Jen Kohlhafer (Christmas Future, Mrs. Mops, Martha Cratchit, Sally Anderson, Fan), Celia Blitzer (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Cratchit), Ali Hoxie (Emily, Blind Hag), Charlie Abel (Mr. Fezziwig, Judge, Beadle), A.J. Whittenberger (Young Marley, Nicholas), Ian Brown-Gorrell (Scrooge at 21)
  • Swings: Charlie Abel, Jennifer Kohlhafer

Production Staff

  • Director: David James
  • Musical Director: Pamela Wilt
  • Choreographer: Laurie Newton
  • Costume Designer: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Lighting Designer: Coleen M. Foley
  • Sound Designer: Drew Dedrick
  • Projections/Special Effects: Dave Bittner
  • Scenic Elements: Dave Esky
  • Dance Captain: Julia Lancione
  • Production Manager: Vickie S. Johnson
  • Production Stage Manager: Kate Wackerle
  • Stage Managers: Drew Dedrick, Kate Wackerle
  • Technical Director: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Master Carpenter: David A. Hopkins
  • Set Construction: Corey Brown, David A. Hopkins, Sarah Splaine, Russell Sunday, Ian Wallace
  • Properties & Set Dressing: Amy Kaplan
  • Light Board Operators: Coleen M. Foley, Erin MacDonald
  • Sound Operators: Drew Dedrick, Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Stage Crew: Laura Blasi, Jason Britt, Erin MacDonald

Orchestra

  • Keyboard/Conductors: Pamela Wilt or Brant Challacombe
  • Keyboard 2: Anne Prizzi, Ed Meyers, or Barry Hamilton
  • Trumpet: Tony Neenan or Frank Gorecki
  • French Horn: Andrew Houde
  • Percussion: Aaron Holmes, Jack Loercher, or N. Scott Robinson

Disclaimer: Toby’s Dinner Theater provided five complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. SBR also provided a banner ad for Toby’s Dinner Theatre’s next show, Hot Nostalgia.

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has been involved in theatre in the state of Maryland and DC for most of her life. She has acted, directed, choreographed, stage managed, and held a million other odd jobs. She has a B.S. in English from Towson University, and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. She is a Maryland State Certified English, Theatre, Elementary, and Mathematics Educator. After teaching English and Drama for many years, she now teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County, Maryland. She wrote the curriculum currently used in Prince George’s County Public Schools for Drama I and Drama II. She now writes and directs plays and musicals for use in church.

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