Friday, December 26, 2008

Play of the Week: A Christmas Carol

Garrison Keillor once said that any struggling theatre can balance its books by the end of the year if the have an elderly actor who can effectively play the role of Scrooge. But what is it about this story that draws us in year after year.

I can't think of a single work of literature that has been embraced by the theatre more than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Every holiday season, hundreds of theatres and playhouses across America choose to revive the holiday classic that essentially defined the way we think about Christmas.

But I believe what has so resonated about this story is all of our desires to not be left out in the cold, especially not on Christmas. Being alone and lonely is perhaps one of the coldest feelings possible. None of us want to end up in the graveyard of our hopes on Christmas Eve. And while an old miser may have all the money and material possessions he could dream of, if there is no one to share them with, what is the point. Shakespeare says it best in his play Timon of Athens: "I am wealthy in my friends." (Act II Scene 2)

Also, as we draw towards year's end, we look back and find regrets in ourselves. Things we did not accomplish and feelings left unresolved. We all wish for the hope of redemption to be able to open our hearts and live in joy the way Scrooge is able to after the visitation from the three spirits.

May we all find the opportunity to live up to our resolutions in the New Year. "God bless us everyone!"

Happy Birthday: Dion Boucicault (1920-1890) & Bahram Bayzai (b. 1938)
December 27: Gerard Depardieu (b. 1948)

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