Cappies Review: Mount Vernon’s “A Christmas Carol”

Cappies Review: Mount Vernon's

The classic bildungsroman A Christmas Carol, crafted by Charles Dickens, follows the tale of a dreadful old man, Ebenezer Scrooge, through a fate changing string of events. With the help of the supernatural, Scrooge changes for the better as he remolds his foul personality into a sincere, kind-hearted soul.

Mount Vernon High School has taken an adaptation of the holiday tale written by Ed Monk and brought it on stage for a more interactive retelling. The Narrator, played by Jared Diallo, immediately creates energy through his shocking entrance from behind the audience. He also makes wonderful use of the space by interacting with the audience. Throughout the beginning scene, the spotlight skillfully follows Diallo through the audience and onto the stage itself where you find two figures seated at desks.

Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Samuel Zarek, accurately displays the cold-hearted emotion during the execution of his lines. By the end of the show his cold-heartedness warms up and becomes sympathetic towards the Cratchit Family (played by Rron Salihu, Keeley Bryant, Zev Knudsen, Laura Schmechel, and Catherine Martinez) as well as compassionate towards his nephew, Fred, played by Josiah Arnett. Mrs. Cratchit, played by Keeley Bryant, brilliantly incorporated the urgent anxiety the family holds in time of poverty into her facial expressions and line execution, while Martha, played by Laura Schmechel, incorporates the family’s joyous compassion towards one another in her loveable interaction with Tiny Tim, played by Catherine Martinez.

As the show progresses, Scrooge is met by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future who all warn Scrooge of his destiny if his horrid feelings towards his family and his community continues. The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Monica Caceres, illuminated the stage with her serene energy and brightly colored make-up designed by Caitlin Davis and Sofi Harai. The make-up gave Caceres a lovely rustic, old-timey feel with bronze eyes and was contrasted by gold cheekbones which allowed her light personality to shine through. Although Caceres was soft spoken, her presence and poise on stage made a big impact. The Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Erica Bartell, marvelously interpreted Present’s loud, quirky personality while The Ghost of Christmas Future, played by Malachi Curtis, was terrifying especially when Curtis was glaring down Zarek in the final scenes.

During the Christmas Past flashback, two characters stood out with their charming smiles and endearing personalities. Mr. Fezziwig (played by Ttendo Williams) and Mrs. Fezziwig (played by Sydney Osei Tutu) brought the scene to life with fantastic chemistry and impeccable comedic timing which followed into the cheerful, old fashion dance choreographed by Tutu. Another character that stood out during this string of scenes was Belle, played by Maggie McClelland, who beautifully displayed her heartfelt emotions during the argument between Belle and Young Scrooge and naturally transitioned from one emotion to the next.

Not only did cast members make wonderful contributions, the tech departments also made some great contributions of their own. Light/Sound Heads, Paul Hiniker and Christopher Tait, composed the soundtrack of the show which set the mood for the upcoming scenes nicely by using gorgeous chord progression and an arrangement of Deck the Halls. Although a little too contemporary for the time period of the play, the composition was of high quality.

Mount Vernon High School’s production of A Christmas Carol exhibited many remarkable moments making it a pleasant and entertaining outing.