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December 18, 2012 > Theatre Review

Theatre Review

A Christmas Carol

By Mauricio Segura

Curtain Call Performing Arts has done an outstanding job with this production. Sets and backdrops designed by David Biettle are amazing, and enhanced with lighting and smog effects; its equivalent to what you would expect at a major Broadway-style venue. Equally exceptional are costume designer Andrea Gorham's outfits. It's a difficult feat to design costumes for a large cast, but to design costumes for a production that spans a timeframe of 60+ years... it boggles the mind; Andrea pulled it off with flying colors.

As a musical, good sound is a key component. Sound was a bit inconsistent which detracted from a great performance. Hopefully these problems will be corrected in subsequent productions since all else worked so well. What won't disappoint or distract is the acting and most importantly, the vocals. Beginning with Scrooge, played by John Cotrufo, the character is brought to life as one would expect. He is ably presented as a loud, grouchy, age-weary man with heavy gestures and empowering presence. Cotrufo's performance is quite entertaining and it's evident he truly enjoys playing the lead part.

Other notables include Nik Dmoski, who as the ghost of Christmas Present is a joy to watch. He's funny, has a great voice, but it's his stage presence that elevates his performance to a top slot. Tiny Tim, played by Emily Joy Kessel was a sweet surprise. A flawless voice with amazing pitch made Tiny Tim's character come to life. The entire cast was top notch talent, but at the apex, Catherine Williamson's voice of Christmas Past, is a superb. Beautiful, angelic, haunting, amazing, are all fitting words, but still slightly less descriptive of what her voice deserves. Her vibrancy and enchanting smile are an absolute delight; Miss Williamson is bound for Broadway stardom.

Overall, A Christmas Carol provides a great evening of theater for the entire family. Older guests will relive childhood, while younger ones will create lasting memories. The Christmas spirit is alive and well at San Leandro's Arts Education Center. Make this holiday season even more special by spending an evening watching this wonderful performance. Happy Holidays!

A Christmas Carol
Friday, Dec 21
8 p.m.
Presented by Curtain Call Performing Arts
San Leandro Arts Education Center
2200 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro
(510) 909-9516
December 22 at 8pm
December 23 at 2pm

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