Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Christmas Carol"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"A Christmas Carol"

Mansfield
Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Mansfield Music & Arts Society's current show is a special one-man presentation of "A Christmas Carol", adapted from Dickens original text. " A Ghost Story of Christmas" was performed by Charles Dickens on his American tours between 1842 and 1868 where he traveled by stagecoach and railroad, performing to standing room crowds.His great-great grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens continued his legacy with tours to Boston and other cities in the 1990's while Patrick Stewart performed yet another one man version on Broadway. Gary Poholek, a Boston Conservatory graduate, presents his original take on this well known tale and delivers a tour de force performance, making him the definitive Scrooge of this season.

Gary dressed in Victorian garb starts out narrating the story then becomes each of the characters he talks about. He mesmerizes the audience with his energetic portrayal of Scrooge, the four ghosts and about 17 other characters switching seamlessly from one to the other as if he is speaking to another actor. Gary memorized every bit of this show. He uses different voices including Ed Wynn's as Fezziwig as well as different stances in each role and interacts at times with the audience, bringing them into the story. Gary's performance is flawless, bringing this reviewer who has already seen three other versions of this show back into the Christmas spirit. He runs the gamut of emotions from the comic (climbing on the chair as Fezziwig) to the poignant. ( telling the family how Tiny Tim's death has affected them)This talented man should take this one man show to Broadway because it is definitely an outstanding piece of theater. Bravo on a job extremely well done. Before the show, local vocalist Kevin Mischley directs and leads fellow singers in a joyous Victorian Christmas caroling as well as running the lights and sound with wonderful work on the reverberation for Marley's ghost, while complimentary mulled cider and cookies are served after each show. So for the definitive Scrooge, be sure to catch the multitalented, Gary Poholek in his one-man version of "A Christmas Carol" or "Ghost Story of Christmas".

"A Christmas Carol" (10 - 19 December)
MANSFIELD MUSIC & ARTS SOCIETY
MMAS Blackbox Theatre, 30 Crocker Street, MANSFIELD MA
1(508) 339-2822

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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