By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
• Perspective: Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol respects the original material but looks at Dickens’ classic story in a different way, Elizabeth Mueller said. She’s directing it for StageCoach Productions in Nashua.
It’s not without comedy, but the tale is serious — we are watching someone try to save his soul from hell, after all, Mueller said.
“We like to think of it as [having] plenty of zany, irreverent moments but at end it should touch your heart,” Mueller said.
This play mostly uses the same characters with the same intentions as Dickens’ story, but is told from the perspective of Jacob Marley, who is tasked with saving Scrooge, Mueller said. An exception is Bogle, a sprite who guides Marley and provides comic relief and explanation to the audience, Mueller said.
“I think one of the great things about this particular play and the way it is written is that so much is left to the imagination of the audience, just as if they were reading the story,” Mueller said.
Timothy L’Ecuyer, who frequently directs for StageCoach, Peacock Players and others and teaches at Merrimack High School, plays Marley. David White plays Scrooge. His professional work with Yellow Taxi Productions included the role of Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie.
Mueller moved to New Hampshire fairly recently after working on her master’s degree in theater education at Emerson College. A Missouri native, she has participated in school and community theater across the country, Mueller said.
The Nashua High School North English teacher said she was able to talk with Gerald Charles Dickens for “quite a while” when he toured in the region in December. The way Dickens’ great-great-grandson performs A Christmas Carol is similar to the way Jacob Marley is presented, Mueller said. The “language is so important,” she said.
See StageCoach’s production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Friday, Dec. 18 or Saturday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m.; or Sunday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m., at the 14 Court St. Theater in Nashua (www.stagecoachproductions.org, 320-3780, $15-$18).
• On the Seacoast: A Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn jazz version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker became the inspiration for a tap and jazz treatment of the show from Seacoast-based MaD Theatricals in 2000. Clara’s Dream - A Jazz Nutcracker returns to The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St. in Portsmouth, Thursday, Dec. 17, and Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. (436-2400, $30-$38).
North Shore Music Theatre had performed A Christmas Carol, A Musical Ghost Story, adapted by Jon Kimbell, David James and David Zoffoli for almost 20 years. With the Beverly, Mass., stage closed, the production has moved to the professional Seacoast Repertory Theatre, at 125 Bow St. in Portsmouth, where it runs through Dec. 27 (www.seacoastrep.org, 433-4472, $17-$4).
The Players’ Ring production of A Christmas Carol adapted by F. Gary Newton closes Dec. 23 at the Ring in Portsmouth (436-8123, www.playersring.org, $8-$12).
• Try out: More than 800 people work in professional summer stock and fall theater in New Hampshire, according to a release about the 2010 New Hampshire Professional Theatre Association Auditions and Job Fair. For the third year, New Hampshire college students and adult residents can audition for or seek off-stage work with more than a dozen of the state’s professional companies. To register for the Feb. 20 event at Plymouth State University, visit http://oz.plymouth.edu/~mkizer/NHPTA/.