By Cathy Mathias
If there is one theater in Brevard that knows how to do set design and lighting, it is the Cocoa Village Playhouse, as is shown by its current production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” which evokes several “wow’s” from the audience.
This well-loved Charles Dickens story of Ebenezer Scrooge is set in coal-blackened London during the Victorian Era. The visual images produced by lighting/set designers, Ian Cook and Jeremy Phelps, are stunning. This scenery evokes the 1840s with old buildings, lamps flickering and a screen backdrop showing St Paul’s cathedral in the fog. They imitate “snow” on the stage floor with billowy white lights. Soft evening light comes through a window-pane, and the scary shadows of bare trees blow in the wind.
Other “wow” moments include the song “Link by Link” where Marley’s Ghost warns Scrooge about his selfishness, and the “Dancing on Your Grave” scene with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Be.
Scrooge’s vicious nature is played to the hilt by Rick Roach, a favorite star of CVP. Tiny Tim is delicately played by the tiny Sydney Krieger. Bob Cratchit is honestly played by Keith Larson and the four main Ghosts are frighteningly played by Sam Henderson, Benjamin Cox, Brian Smith and Jeanette Roach.
Hats off to the seven “set movers” (you know who you are) They move the pieces like Scrooge’s bed and desk on and off stage in such a seamless, professional way.
As to music, I found it hard to believe that Alan Menken, the composer of “Little Mermaid” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” wrote this because the songs are not memorable. The orchestra performed their best in their hideaway under the stage.
The show is scheduled to run through December 2nd. So if you want to see this show, you better hurry. Bring your coat because they keep the air conditioning way down I guess to evoke the chill of a London winter.
Side o’ Grits: “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” runs through Dec. 2 at Cocoa Village Playhouse, 300 Brevard Ave., Cocoa, FL. to 24 adults, children. Call 321-636-5050 or visit www.cocoavillageplayhouse.com