The Ghosts are Back

If the thought of venturing out into the malls and fighting your way through crowds to find that special holiday gift has you in a “bah, humbug” mood, the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square could be the place for you to exorcise those ghosts of Christmases past.

Yes, the Great Lakes Theatre (GTL) will be staging its annual time-honored production of Charles Dickens classic tale, “A Christmas Carol,” running December 2 through 23.

The most popular winter holiday play of all time, performed around the globe on the big screen, television and stage as a play and a musical, has always had a unique draw in Northeast Ohio. The popular staging has been viewed in this state by more than half a million people.

“Essentially it is a play with a lot of music and Christmas carols interspersed within it,” said Todd Krispinsky, marketing and public relations director for the Great Lakes Theater (GLT), which has been using the adaptation of its original artistic director Gerald Freeman since its first staging. “We have been using his same adaptation and re-staging his original direction ever since due to its beauty, simplicity, magic, pageantry and popularity.”

Longtime GLT artistic company member Sara Bruner will stage Freedman’s heartwarming adaptation featuring a multi-generational cast of actors, singers and dancers led by actor Aled Davies, returning for his fourth season in the role of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.

Freedman’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” is presented as a story within a story. The fictitious Cleaveland family gathers in its Victorian-era parlor on Christmas Eve to read Mr. Dickens’ book. As Mrs. Cleaveland reads the story to her family, her youngest child, Master William, imagines familiar faces as characters in the story: The Cleaveland’s crotchety manservant becomes Scrooge; Father becomes Bob Cratchit; Mother becomes Belle and the Cleaveland children become the Cratchits, with Master William becoming the beloved Tiny Tim.Great Lakes Theater’s 23rd annual production of “A Christmas Carol” commences on Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday, Thursday and Friday matinees and a 3 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. An audio-described and sign interpreted performance is scheduled for Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m.

Sponsored by The John P. Murphy Foundation, the company’s 2011-12 season is presented with support from The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. GLT is also funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

Single tickets for Great Lakes Theater’s production of “A Christmas Carol” start at $28 and are available by calling 216-241-6000, by ordering online at or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare ticket office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts; call 216-241-5490 x302 to make reservations.

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