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For the Bob Cratchit in Us All 

Wednesday, Dec 7 2011
A.C.T. has staged A Christmas Carol for 35 years, but in today's political and economic climate, Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh's adaptation of the Dickens novella could hardly feel timelier. "The parallels between now and what was going on Dickens' time are extraordinary," says director Domenique Lozano, "with the stock market bubbles, and the huge inequality between the rich and the poor." The adaptation contains song (composed by Karl Lundeberg), dance, puppets, flying actors, and an almost 40-person cast of children, conservatory students, and professionals. The story focuses on how a community "reclaims" a lost individual. Every year, Lozano and James Carpenter (Scrooge), who are now in their sixth production of Carol, try to explore a new facet of Dickens' rich story; this year they examine how totally isolated Scrooge is — in Dickens' words, like "an oyster." They've also added a moment that speaks to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Its implications are indeed once again timely, yet the production's message — that anyone can get a second chance — is timeless and family-friendly. And with only two 40-minute acts, the Tiny Tims in the audience need not worry about the ghost of future bathroom trips.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 24, 2011

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Lily Janiak

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