After a two-year hiatus, the Four Season Theatre Company is once again staging its trademark holiday production of A Christmas Carol. If the quality of their six previous presentations of this show is any indication, this one will be spectacular as usual.
From 2011 to 2016, the Four Seasons folks in Smithfield owned Christmas in Cache Valley with annual productions of A Christmas Carol that just kept getting bigger and better. Those shows were jointly directed by Jon and Kody Rash.
For a change of pace, the Four Seasons Company offered White Christmas during the past two years. Now, by popular demand, A Christmas Carol is back under the direction of Annalyse Chidester, who promises to deliver an all-new vision of the show including revised choreography.
Luckily, the new director has got great material to work with.
There have been numerous stage and screen versions of this Charles Dickens classic over the years. One of the most memorable was a 1970 movie musical staring Albert Finney entitled Scrooge. The best of the bunch, however, is this 1994 Broadway adaptation by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.
Menken is, of course, best known for composing the scores of numerous Disney animated features, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Pocahontas. But he has also achieved several Broadway successes including Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act and A Christmas Carol.
A Christmas Carol was something of a stylistic departure for Menken, since the term “musical” is an understatement when applied to this production; “extravaganza” seems more accurate. Like an operetta, the majority of the show’s dialogue is sung so the music actually drives the plot of A Christmas Carol to an unusual degree.
But the Four Seasons Company has never had any problem assembling the voices needed to meet the vocal challenges of A Christmas Carol. Although the musical requires a cast large enough to perform a grand opera, the previous Four Seasons’ production have always been blessed with gifted vocalists in leading roles, breathtaking choral ensembles and charming production numbers.
This current production looks to be no exception to that rule.
Scott Hunsaker will once again be leading the Four Seasons cast in the role of Scrooge. Hunsaker is a talented vocalist and his portrayal of Scrooge has been applauded as surprisingly sympathetic in previous years.
Freed from his previous directing duties, Kody Rash is also reprising his 2016 performance as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Other returning performers in the cast of more than 70 include Four Seasons veterans Jordan Ames, Walker McKenna, Kim Rash and Mary Savage.
The 2019 production of A Christmas Carol will also feature the Four Seasons Company’s trademark gorgeous costuming, nicely atmospheric set designs and superb lighting effects.
Performances of A Christmas Carol will open this weekend at Sky View High School in Smithfield and run through Dec. 14th.