Rooftop Productions is opening with a holiday classic, the Broadway version of The Christmas Carol the Musical, based on the story by Charles Dickens, with music by Alan Menken. Rooftop’s production is directed by Ted Ballard, with musical direction by Aaron Furry. The musical opens with songs introducing the evolution of Scrooge, “Hear the Bells” (sung by the Ensemble), “Jolly Good Time” (Scrooge, Ensemble), and “Nothing to Do With Me” (Scrooge, Cratchit, Sandwich Board Man, Lamplighter, Tiny Tim, Fred, Jonathon, Blind Old Hag, and Ensemble). Scrooge is wonderfully played by Jay Tilley, along with his present-day characters of Bob Cratchit, nicely played by Josh Vest, complementing Mrs. Cratchit, Savannah Lagana, and an adorable Tiny Tim, played by Luke Prado. Ruby Haines makes an equally adorable Lucy Cratchit. Fezzwig was another crowd-pleaser, played by Andrew Morin.
Scrooge cares more about personal wealth than the well-being of others. He encounters his past, present, and future when he is faced with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. All these ghosts are well suited for their roles, played by a talented Patrick Mulhern, Ahryel Tinker, and Tatianna Crawford, respectively.
I have never seen the musical version of The Christmas Carol, so it was a delight to see the musical numbers and choreography interspersed in this classic tale. Breena Grimes’ choreography was very creative and fun. The Ensemble was up for the task and gave off an exuberance that cannot help but put you in the holiday spirit.
Noah Nicoletti was impressive as Young Scrooge and Brynna Thaxter as Young Marley/Scrooge at 8½/Ensemble. The only distractions from these performances were mic issues that either cut the sound off intermittently or did not allow for projections of voices. The hope is that these sound issues will be corrected for future shows, allowing the audience to enjoy the full context of their performances.
I personally enjoyed the pace and up tempo of Act Two the most. “Dancing on Your Grave”, (Ensemble, Cratchit) and “Yesterday, Tomorrow and Today” (Scrooge, Angels) really brought the storyline together. Jay Tilley as Scrooge showed us a convincing transformation into a changed man. It was a delightful ending that put a smile on everyone’s face.
This musical is being performed at the Arts Factory in Manassas. As part of a fundraiser, a Trees for the Arts campaign was introduced. Patrons may bid on the trees and keep track of their bids by activating a QR code after the performances.
Running Time: Approximately one hour 45 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
A Christmas Carol the Musical plays through December 11, 2022, presented by Rooftop Productions performing at the ARTfactory, located at 9419 Battle Street in Historic Downtown Manassas. Tickets ($20 student/senior, $25 adult) can be purchased online or by calling the ARTfactory at 703-330-2787.
Fridays and Saturdays, December 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 7 p.m.
Sundays, December 4 and 11 at 3 p.m.
COVID Safety: Following the current CDC recommendation, audience members should wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk.
A Christmas Carol the Musical
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent
Based on the story by Charles Dickens
Ensemble: Patrick Mulhern, Brynna Thaxter, Ruby Haines, Loren Park, Kemi Shewmaker, Janice Dionne, Mandi Ellis, Yasmina Georgia, and Melissa Georgia
Director: Ted Ballard
Music Director: Aaron Furry
Choreographer: Breena Grimes
Costumer: Nicole Andres
Stage Manager: Lauren Jerothe
Lighting Designer: Ashton Schaffer
Tech Director: Jimmy Conroy
Sound: Adriane Harrison
Costumer: Andrea Oswald