Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs "A Christmas Carol." Again.
In 1853, ten years after having dashed off his surprisingly successful holiday story, "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens gave his first public reading of the work. The effort was so well received, as well as providing much needed cash, that Dickens continued to perform these celebrated readings for the rest of his career. Now, almost 160 years later, performances of "A Christmas Carol" have become one of our most enduring holiday traditions.
In "Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs 'A Christmas Carol.' Again." the problem is that Dickens, himself, has long grown tired of this annual reading. Reports of his death in 1870 were greatly exaggerated, and year after year he has sustained himself with these solo performances albeit with dwindling enthusiasm as he has moved from the grand concert halls of London to finally, this year, The Building Stage in Chicago's industrial West Loop.Now, as the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth, Dickens has finally reached the breaking point. He knows he must grant the holiday wishes of his audience but desperately hopes to entertain them with anything but another performance of"A Christmas Carol."
Created and performed by The Building Stage artistic director Blake Montgomery, "Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs 'A Christmas Carol.' Again." both celebrates and skewers our attachment to this classic tale. Performed in an invitingly warm Victorian atmosphere filled with holiday treats and traditions, the play captures the essence of the Dickens story and provides an affectionate view of the great author himself rediscovering his own passion.
During its inaugural run in 2011, the performance was a popular anecdote to Holiday weariness playing to packed houses. The performance was READER RECOMMENDED, with reviewer Kerry Reid saying "Montgomery's smart, heartfelt reinvention proves that you don't need fake snow and flying ghosts to make the tale resonate," and Time Out Chicago's Oliver Sava calling Montgomery "a skilled, charming performer." This year's production has been revised to build on this solid foundation, incorporating the lessons learned from the audience and reshaping the material in honor of the 2012 Dickens Bicentennial.
The Building Stage (View)
412 N Carpenter Street
Chicago, IL 60642
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