Among the classic holiday stories and traditions that never fail to delight or inspire, are the joyful messages imprinted in Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” heralding its way to N.M. Tech’s Macey Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12.
One of the final two Performing Arts Series events of the calendar year, “A Christmas Carol” includes a Tech Club Macey social hour from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Galena Room.
A Christmas Carol has enchanted audiences the world over with its simple message. Ebenezer Scrooge, that most unrepentant and miserly of fellows, is made to see the light as he survives a merciless battery of revelations by the ghosts of his own life: former business partner Jacob Marley and the Christmas Spirits of Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
“One can almost hear Jacob Marley rattling his chains, and smell the aromas of the era in this delightful production,” PAS Director Ronna Kalish said. “With the music of 26 traditional carols of the season woven throughout this classic tale, A Christmas Carol joyfully rings in holiday festivities in Socorro.”
A powerful story of redemption, with script adaptations and directions by Charles With, and award-winning, 40-year theater veteran Scott H. Severance’s flawless performance as Scrooge, this new adaptation of Dickens’ ever popular classic fills the stage with first-class professional actors, lush costumes, stunning sets and puppetry, song and dance, a heavy dose of humor, and a timeless message.
Now in its third year of spreading cheer across the country, the 2016 national tour of A Christmas Carol is presented by PerSeverance Productions of Nashua, N.H. This company knows only one way to tell great theatrical tales — with total commitment, passion, humor, and dedication.
And Gaby Benalil, coordinator for Tech’s Music Program, knows how to complement the evening’s festivities with music performed live, in the upper lobby before the show and at intermission, featuring Tech and community musicians and singers.
“Gaby and company are busy preparing for their pre-show performance,” Kalish said. “They will definitely add a personal and local element to a lovely family evening.”
To add to the evening’s festivities is the Schmooze, Booze and Bites pre-show gathering, featuring the opportunity to make mistletoe creations, hot spiced wine as a drink special at the cash bar, and repasts of Old England: Lancashire hot pot and root veggies with plum pudding, free to members and $15 for non-members, payable at the door.
Tongue-in-cheek, Kalish muses, “Like most of you, I prefer a steaming bowl of posole and your grandmother or Aunt Mary’s biscochitos, but here is an opportunity to step into the mid-1800s in Merry Olde England to enjoy a story and its complementary dishes that have stood the test of time.”
Okay, we’re curious: how does plum pudding differ from figgy pudding?
In America, Christmas pudding (also known as plum pudding or figgy pudding) is a dish as famous as it is misunderstood. It features prominently as the flaming center of the holiday meal in “A Christmas Carol,” and pops up in carols themselves:
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has two verses demanding figgy pudding. But for the uninitiated, Christmas puddings are eyed with skepticism befitting a dish that can be accurately described as a cross between a fruitcake and a haggis, set on fire. It’s no great secret that fruitcake and haggis are not universal favorites.
“Being a Ghost Story of Christmas” is a novella by Charles Dickens, the prose version of A Christmas Carol, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. It is a tale of moral transformation, written during an era when the British were exploring and re-evaluating past Yuletide traditions, including carols and newer customs such as Christmas trees.
“I’ve read that Dickens was influenced by his own youth, and the traditional tales of other authors,” Kalish said. “A Christmas Carol is a story of how a miserly man – and this goes beyond money – becomes a kinder and more understanding person, and in doing so, is inspired to help those less fortunate.”
It is said that Dickens acknowledged from Western culture and later inspired, several aspects of Christmas, including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.
Celebrate the true Spirit of Christmas with this brand new, original production filled with haunting special effects and heartfelt sentiment. A Christmas Carol is delightful and thoroughly entertaining, the perfect family holiday event.
Sponsors are N.M. State Rep. Gail “Missy” Armstrong, Presbyterian Healthcare Services (Socorro General Hospital), First State Bank, Penny and Jim Lommen, SMPC Architects and Best Western.
Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for youth 17 and under. New Mexico Tech students will be admitted free with their student ID at the door, or can pick up one ticket each at the New Mexico Tech Bookstore.
Tickets can be purchased online at nmtpas.org, or at the following locations: New Mexico Tech Cashier (Fidel Center), Sofia’s Kitchen, John Brooks SuperMart or the PAS office (call 835-5688 for directions).