NLT readies Christmas production
Season’s Greetings! The cast and crew of Natchez Little Theatre’s upcoming Christmas Production are looking forward to entertaining you and your family during this festive season with “A Natchez Christmas Carol.”
For ten years, NLT has gathered talent from our community to bring life to the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation from penny-pinching miser to a reformed, kind-hearted friend in the end. The musical production, adapted by Layne Taylor from the Charles Dickens’ classic is set in Natchez in 1869. The mixture of time-period costumes and lively set design make for a visually stimulating experience.
This highly anticipated production will open at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and continues each Friday, Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 21, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 – 22 at the Natchez Little Theatre at 319 Linton Ave. at Maple Street in Natchez.
A benefit/preview performance is planned at 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Proceeds from this performance will benefit the Dawn Taylor Memorial Youth Scholarship, with tickets for $10. All other performance tickets for non-members of NLT are $15.
This classic piece is a story of Jacob Marley, portrayed by Dwight Williams, who passed away seven Christmas Eves prior and left his home and his portion of a cotton brokerage firm to his only friend, and partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Don Vesterse.
Marley’s miserly ways are survived by Scrooge, who does not believe in anything kind, light-hearted, charitable or festive — even love. Scrooge is only interested in things that he can see — his money.
He has isolated himself from everyone and everything except his business and his loyal clerk, a freed slave named Bob Cratchit, whom he makes miserable. His old friend Marley returns in the night to warn Scrooge of his fate if he does not heed the lessons he will learn from three other spirits, played by Layne Taylor and Shemeka Ware.
The lessons they teach Scrooge sink in and allow him to see the error of his ways. He is changed by what he sees and opens up his heart to all those around him, especially the Cratchits and their beloved, crippled son, Tiny Tim, played by award-winning actor, Caleb Curtis.
The production is peppered with popular Christmas tunes such as “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Carol of the Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Silent Night,” “Here We Come a Caroling,” “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Herald,” “Christmas is Coming,” “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” “What Child is This.” “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
I have the honor of directing an outstanding and talented cast of newcomers and veterans with a wonderful orchestration created by the late Tommy Jackson and my musical director, Tema K. Larry.
The colorful sets have been constructed by Don Vesterse, and Shemeka Ware has added choreography to many of the musical numbers.
Terrence Robinson, who portrayed Mister in “The Color Purple,” returns to the stage as Bob Cratchit; Richaye Curtis is Mrs. Cratchit and the Cratchit children are played by Hope Knight, Patricia Ware and Michael Ware.
Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, is being played by Dwight Williams with Taylor Spring as his wife, Eliza, and Addison Laird, as her sister, Olivia. Mike Thomas returns as Mr. Fezziwig and Joe Miller with Taylor Spring also portraying Belle Fezziwig.
Abbie Dill and Anabella Laird share the role of Scrooge’s dear little sister, Fan. Other cast members are Tema K. Larry, Morgan Baskins, Andrea Cater, Hannah Hargis, Roarke Brown, Myla Waddill, Maggie Waddill, Carolyne Heatherly, Jasmine Jackson, and Piper Mophett.
The box office will open an hour prior to each performance, and reservations are highly recommended as NLT has several tour groups attending this season. Call NLT at 601-442-2233 or toll free at 1-877-440-2233. You may also purchase tickets on-line at natcheztheatre.org.
From all of us here at NLT and the entire cast and crew of “A Natchez Christmas Carol,” we look forward to seeing you and your family this holiday season.
So, “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” and get a group together and come let us entertain you this December at Natchez Little Theatre.
Morgan Mizell is director of “A Natchez Christmas Carol.”