Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol"

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entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's current show is Tom Mula's "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol". This version of the play is about the redemption of Jacob Marley. The play starts with the familiar "Marley was dead, to begin with... but the twist in this story is what happens to Scrooge's mean, sour, pruney old business partner. Chained and shackled, Marley is condemned to a hellish eternity. He's even given his own private tormentor a malicious little sprite who throughly enjoys his work. Desperate, Marley accepts his one chance to free himself. He must first redeem Scrooge to escape his own chains. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Scrooge's heart is opened but not before Marley discovers his own in this irreverent, funny and deeply moving story. This wonderful show is performed by four topnotch actors who keep your attention from start to finish in this fresh telling of this well known tale.

Director David Jepson does double duty in this show as both director and one of the four actors. He and his fellow actors do an amazing job with the enormous amount of lines they all have. David plays the Record Keeper (who tells Marley his fate) as well as multiple other characters in the show. David keeps the show constantly moving while his wife, Beth is the hard working stage manager. The show has 180 lighting cues and 47 sound cues plus the reverb sound with all of them handled skillfully by Morgan Ban Draoi. The set is a black box set and the four actors are in black pants and jerseys. A tour de force performance is given by Sonny Dufault as Jacob Marley. His character is onstage throughout the entire show except for three lines. Sonny's portrayal is excellent and his many voices and facial expressions are fantastic, too. He runs the gamut of emotions, bringing the audience into the show from Marley's perspective. The sprite is fabulously played by veteran actor, Arthur Pignataro who uses a high pitched voice to play this mischief maker who ends up helping out both of them. He reminds you of Peter Pan who lightens the mood while moving about the stage like a whirling dervish. David's twin brother, Michael plays the miserly, Scrooge. He is a consumate actor who brings a fresh look at this well known character. These four men interact with each other beautifully and give this reviewer a new look at a classic tale. So for a night of fun, be sure to catch "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol". It will bring you some nice surprises along the way and help to usher in this festive time of year.

"Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" (2 - 19 December)
GRANITE THEATRE,
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY, R I
1 (401) 596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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