Time for another post in my annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years.
The 1979 Broadway musical Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown is one of the versions of A Christmas Carol that often get pigeon-holed as “African American versions” but, along with John Grin’s Christmas and Ms Scrooge this tuneful adaptation transcends race and celebrates the universality of the Carol’s message. The musical continues to tour the USA to this very day and a television broadcast of a few scenes and songs from the work aired when I was a teenager and was already obsessed with variations of the story.
Gregory Hines played Scrooge in the original Broadway cast. The Scrooge in this adaptation was an Continue reading
This is now my sixth installment of lesser-known versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. First up is the 1995 Read-Along Christmas Carol. It’s just 50 minutes long and is ideal for youngsters learning how to read or for the hearing-impaired to watch. The video features a series of still Continue reading
In my fifth installment of lesser-known versions of A Christmas Carol I’ll look at three opera versions of the classic Dickens tale. I’ll start off with the most lauded one- the 1982 Granada TV broadcast of the Royal Opera House’s staging of the opera by THE Thea Musgrave. Musgrave has also done the libretto and music for the celebrated operas Mary, Queen Of Scots … Harriet, The Woman Called Moses … Simon Bolivar and most recently Pontalba in 2003. The opera is fairly faithful with the most significant changes obviously being imposed by the format. For efficiency’s sake the only scene at nephew Fred’s home is at the very end so things can close on a very festive note. Every performer except the Continue reading
Time once again for some under-the-radar versions of A Christmas Carol. First up this time is the 1977 BBC TV version starring Michael Hordern as Scrooge. Hordern was better known to some people as the voice of Continue reading
I’ll come right out and admit it – I’ve always been a sucker for any version of A Christmas Carol. Trouble is, most adaptations distort the story or are produced by people who don’t seem to “get” the story or treat it like it’s a children’s tale. Anyone who thinks that needs to read the novelette again. My love of mythology is partly why I love the story so much.
A Christmas Carol is the closest thing to an Epic Myth the Industrial Age has produced. The language Dickens uses is very close to prose poetry but precious few adaptations of the story preserve enough of it.
That brings us to Patrick Stewart‘s one-man stage presentation of A Christmas Carol. (NOT the fairly lame made-for-tv movie he did on TNT) Stewart does all the voices and pretty much all the sound effects and his Continue reading