The music of this wonderful play is heightened by original songs and lyrics by former Artistic Director Blanca Florido and Musical Director Andrew Klein, with Choreography by Paula Gianetti. Novato Theater Company lost multi-talented Florido to death this year, leaving a large void.
Now, the Novato Theater Company is carrying on with Blanca’s spirit with this Holiday offering, thanks to Paula Gianetti and Janelle Ponte who stepped up to direct their first production.
The play opens in the office of Scrooge and Marley – a wonderful set designed by Mark Clark, with effective lighting by Frank Sarubbi and Electric Bill Company. Colorful period costumes are designed by May Weinberg and Janice Deneau.
You probably already know the plot by Charles Dickens. Cranky Mr. Scrooge is played by Michael Alan Fox who expresses “bah humbug” as his Season’s Greeting. Hard working Bob Cratchit (Tim Clover) has a family to support and wishes his boss understood the meaning of Christmas.
Scrooge changes his outlook through visitations by four spirits, the first of which is his deceased former partner Jacob Marley (wonderfully performed by Bob Stratton – who also plays 2 other characters) and then the Ghost of Christmas Past (Soprano Lisa Hart),
the Ghost of Christmas Present performed by engaging newcomer Nick Moore, and The Ghost of Future – all in black and unidentified.
The show is filled with 25 local actors from the ages of 8 to 80. Some familiar names who make appearances include Leslie Klor as Mrs. Dilber, Shari Clover, who was very good as the charwoman and as part of the Ensemble, Candace Brown as Caroline and part of the Ensemble, and Burl Lampert as Charity Gentleman 2, Thomas, and in the Ensemble, and 8-year-old Georgia Stahl-Ricco as Tiny Tim.
Other fine cast members include: Paul Gusciora, Charity Gentleman 1, Thomas, and in the Ensemble Jena Shore, as Mrs. Cratchit and in the Ensemble; Ashby Remak, as Martha Cratchit and in the Ensemble; Maggie Gaines, as Belinda Cratchit and in the Ensemble; Maya Jones, as Lizzie Cratchit and in the Ensemble; Bennett Moffett, as Peter Cratchit and in the Ensemble; John Nolan, as Old Joe and in the Ensemble; Jack Moffett, as Young Man Scrooge and in the Ensemble; Ava Olsen, Fan and in the Ensemble; Peggy Stratton, as Mrs. Fezziwig and in the Ensemble; Christina Campbell, as Belle, Fred’s wife, and in the Ensemble; Tim Geracoulis, as Fred, Belle’s husband, and in the Ensemble; Teige Shore, Intelligent, Remarkable Boy; Ryan Remak, as Boy Scrooge, and in the Ensemble; Isabelle Brenner, in the Ensemble.
The actors themselves move tables, chairs, and even the stove. According to Directors Paula Gianetti and Janelle Ponte, the play suggests that remembering the bad that happens in life along with the good and moving forward with a sense of forgiveness will allow us to move forward joyfully in life.
Photography: Mark Clark
You won’t want to miss this delightful Holiday Season Production!
A Christmas Carol – The Musical began December 2 and will end December 18, 2016, at Novato Theater Company Playhouse, 5420 Nave Drive, Suite C, Novato 94949.
Remaining performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Order tickets online up to two hours before performance times at www.NovatoTheaterCompany.org (print out your ticket from the confirmation email). If you are unable to print out your ticket, your name will be on a list at the Box Office at your scheduled time. The Box Office opens at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Coming up next at NTC will be Lettice and Lovage by Peter Shaffer and directed by Renée Mandel-Sher from February 3 through 19, 2017.
Flora Lynn Isaacson