Come see ‘Natchez Christmas Carol’
Published 12:36 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Natchez Little Theatre is proud to bring back for your holiday enjoyment its original holiday family musical, “A Natchez Christmas Carol,” Dec. 2 through Dec. 17.
“A Natchez Christmas Carol” opened at the Natchez Little Theatre on Dec. 3, 2004, and was aired live from Natchez Little Theatre on Mississippi Public Broadcasting on Dec. 24, 2004.
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Selected by “The Washington Post” in 2015 as one of the best in America, NLT’s was proclaimed “…the best and most uniquely American production.” NLT’s was adapted from the Dickens’ classic using Natchez history, turning many of Dickens’ English characters into historic figures from Natchez during 1869 (the Reconstruction Period following the American Civil War).
“A Natchez Christmas Carol” follows the Dickens tale that Jacob Marley died seven years ago and left his home and his half of the business to his partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, portrayed for the first time this year by the show’s author, Layne Taylor. Marley, played for the first time by Devin Arnold, was a stingy old man, and Scrooge happily carries on the tradition. Scrooge is a hard, cold miser who spends his days counting his profits and wishing the world would leave him alone. He doesn’t believe in charity, and he is certain that those who do are just lazy bums looking for a handout.
Scrooge’s entire life is his Natchez cotton brokerage and bank and he shuts out his nephew Fred, played by Tim Leak of Woodville for the third year, who is the only relative he has. Bob Cratchit, his loyal employee, played for the fourth year by NLT award-winning actor, Terrence Robinson, is a free man of color who supports his growing family on Scrooge’s meager wages.
Once prosperous Natchez planters and merchants are down on their luck after the War of Recent Unpleasantness and compete with carpetbaggers and newly freed slaves for income. Scrooge has profited greatly by repossessing plantations and business alike; putting out war widows and orphans; and taking advantage of newly freed slaves.
But Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns him that if he continues to live his life in such an unchristian way, he will spend all eternity trying to make up for it. Three more ghosts: Ginny Borum as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Derek Saxon as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Julia Richardson as the Ghost of Christmas Future, visit Scrooge and show him the errors of his ways. Because of what he sees and learns, Scrooge opens his heart to the people around him and learns charity, love and saves himself from the doom of which Marley warned him.
The remainder of the talented cast includes: Alexandra Camargo, Hannah Hargis, Courtney Fleming, Gambrell Bouldin, Chanda Solano, Nicole Harris, Michael Ware, Trent Robinson as Tiny Tim, Jonathan Rosso, Symone Thomas, Anna Simmons, Addison Laird, Ziggy Hunstock, Ava Pinder, Jolanda Ware, Jennyfer Gibson, Jada Gibson, Braylen Mophett, Amelie Harris, Gianna Tuccio and Janet McNeely.
This year, you will see many new faces including the NLT debut of Alexandra Camargo, who recently moved here with her husband, Dr. Camargo of Miami and will perform ‘Holy Night’ as a part of the production’s ever evolving story. Two of the student matinees are sold out with over 500 local area youth attending and plans to add two more matinees as needed.
“A Natchez Christmas Carol” is enriched by beautiful 19th century costumes and Christmas Carols, including an original song “Bah, Humbug!” based on an old Spanish carol with lyrics by Layne Taylor, who directs the show with musical direction by Terrence Robinson. The sets were designed by Layne and Jennifer Rosso with decorative painting by Jennifer Rosso.
“A Natchez Christmas Carol” is the No. 1 tourist attraction during the month of December, bringing in church groups from all over the South, bus tours from across the country, international tourists as well as bus loads of local area school children for student matinees.
Don’t miss this Christmas tradition! “A Natchez Christmas Carol” will be at 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, starting Dec. 2 and ending Dec. 17 and at 2 p.m. every Sunday with only one, Tuesday, Dec. 12 performance at 7:30 p.m.
All tickets are $15 for non-members/sponsors of Natchez Little Theatre and should be reserved by calling the theatre at 601.442.2233. You may also acquire your tickets securely on-line at natcheztheatre.org and avoid the box office lines. Come celebrate the holidays with your loved ones at “A Natchez Christmas Carol” at Natchez Little Theatre located at 319 Linton Avenue at Maple Street as Mississippi celebrates its 200th birthday!
And now is the time to support Mississippi’s oldest community theatre and a charitable non-profit organization by joining us for our 70th season in 2018, celebrating 86 years of entertainment. 70th season Memberships, sponsorships and advertising in our season program are now on sale at the box office and on-line at natcheztheatre.org. Help us keep Natchez Little Theatre thriving and attracting tourists year-round to our community!
Chris Borum is the president of the Natchez Little Theatre board of directors.