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'A Christmas Carol' play awakens sleepy downtown

By JR Ortega
Dec. 4, 2010 at 6:04 a.m.

About 200 people of all ages sit in DeLeon Plaza and listen to Ebenezer Scrooge, portrayed by Walter Womack, from "A Christmas Carol," talk negatively about Christmas. The performance was a first-time attempt outdoors for Theatre Victoria, said Larry Rose, director.

The early Saturday afternoon sun cast tangled limb shadows across DeLeon Plaza as Cristina Magana became entangled in the live outdoor performance of "A Christmas Carol."

After watching actors of all ages from Theatre Victoria showcase their talent, her niche interest in theatre arts was heightened.

"I like plays and musicals," said Magana, who had never seen "A Christmas Carol." "I think it's a very interesting play and the actors are pretty good too."

The play premiered not on stage as it typically would, but outside, a first attempt for the theatre, said Larry Rose, director.

"We anticipate doing it every year and maybe we'll even do them not just around Christmas," Rose said.

Rose counted about 200 people at the play.

The play is a first in the theatre's Theatre-in-the-Parks series.

The story is based on the Charles Dickens novel and was adapted for the stage by Charles Moster, the theatre's former producing artistic director.

The play focuses on Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy and cranky old man who is changed emotionally after a visit from the supernatural.

Vanessa Reyna-Hamlin has seen some of the productions the theatre has put on before.

Reyna-Hamlin and her niece, Illiana Ramirez, 5, were at the Children's Museum across the plaza when they heard the singing from LifePointe Fellowship, which sponsored the play.

The group's singing could be heard throughout downtown.

"It's pretty magical," Reyna-Hamlin said. "There's a lot of local talent who are giving their time."

Well-tailored costumes and tip-top prop design on top of the acting helped move the story along.

Magana continued to watch the play, imagining gracing the stage in some way or another.

"It met all of our expectations," said her mother, Debbie Tagle, smiling.



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