A CAROL CHRISTMAS

Critics

LemonMeter

91 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

The Group Rep presents a new musical version of the immortal Charles Dickens classic set in America today, book by Doug Haverty, Music/Lyrics by Bruce Kimmel, directed by Bruce Kimmel, orchestrations by Richard Allen, and choreography by Kay Cole, produced by Gina Yates and Kevin Hoffman. Instead of a man named Scrooge we have a woman named Carol, the successful, demanding host of a home-shopping show who cares nothing for Christmas and wants her staff to work right through the holidays. 17 new songs and all of the characters you know and love – Marley, Cratchit, Fred, and Tiny Tim are women in this fun, charming, and touching family-friendly new musical.

Reviews

Avatar

The performers are all undeniably good singers. Kimmel's direction helped balance some of the productions' blandness with well-executed routines that do not overwhelm the narrative.

sweet-sour - Lara J. Altunian - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Luckily for the audience, director Bruce Kimmel spread some Christmas magic and adapted the classic story into something fun, amusing and woman power strong.

sweet - Mary E Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar

THEATRE REVIEW #785 - A Carol Christmas The Group Rep's Production of “A Carol Christmas” Is A Fun Joyous Twist Of An Ol' Classic' Written By Lorenzo Marchessi “A Carol Christmas” – Wow! Loved it! I'm sure Charles Dickens never saw this one coming. The Group Rep company in North Hollywood (at the Lonny Chapman Theatre) of creative talent has come up with a fresh and fun and musically delightful version of “A Christmas Carol” that will surprise you, touch you and just keep you toe-tapping and singing along! Producers Kevin Hoffman & Gina Yates have taken a large leap from traditional telling of this classic originally written in 1843 and brought modern-day fun back to live theatre with that Holiday flavor! With an amazingly original and completely entertaining book by Doug Haverty and the festive music and lyrics by Bruce Kimmel himself (also the Director), you are in for a real Holiday treat of a very familiar story done in a very modern setting that's so much fun! Musical director Richard Allen gave all these new songs a musical and vocal arrangement that your ears will feel like peppermint and cinnamon spice – and I dare you not to catch yourself smiling from cheek-to-cheek or singing along. Director Bruce Kimmel chose a wonderfully talented cast and a very stylized way to present the staging and musical numbers that nothing is lost, unheard or unclear. This is both technically and artistically brilliant! Now, add the fun, hip and engaging choreography by Kay Cole, this show literally doesn't miss a beat of Holiday Fun! Hartley Powers plays Carol and the nasty boss with clear wit and sharp tongue. And I haven't seen this much talent on stage in a long time. She is perfectly nasty, and when it comes down to it, Hartley gives a wonderful arch in her performance that just cuts you right to the bone. Now about her beautiful voice and powerful songs like “All I Want For Christmas” and “What Have I Learned” – well, she'll just – musically – blow you away. I loved her energy, sense of humor and sarcasm and along with her vocal talents – she carries this story from beginning to end with amazing talent! Just wow! Janet Wood plays both Joelle the deceased former partner of the business (aka Scrooge's Marley) and sings a very powerful song called “The Message” to get Carol slightly concerned about a lesson or three she is about to learn - and as Karina an amazing version of ‘The Ghost of X-mas Present' who also sings this hysterical song called “Owaska Tea” to help Hartley see what's actually going on in people's lives around her. Janet is dynamic. Janet is so incredibly funny and has an amazing voice – she is truly a musical/comedian. Okay, another wow! Peyton Kirkner plays Trina the younger daughter who is ill (aka Tiny Tim) and gives a very excited, yet physically challenged performance that is both fun and believable. Her real showcase is her song “Spelling Backwards” and it is not only smart and clever but a pure delight to see with a very unique and memorable choreography that you'll soon not forget. Debi Tinsley plays Mabel – ‘The Ghost of X-Mas Future' – is so charmingly delightful and again so funny to see as she uses her Tarot cards to spin the future for Carol. Even Debi's song “Tarot Cards” will have you laughing out loud and she plays the cards and moments like she owns the stage. Way too much fun to see. Debi Tinsley plays Odette who is ‘The Ghost of X-Mas Past' and I must say I loved the twist of a Psychologist talking Carol through her past and pinpointing various special moments. Debi again plays it very uniquely calm and very smart and with a dabble of humor throughout her performance. Her song “Close Your Eyes” is both moving and touching to the story that you'll find maybe a heart string of yours might be tugged. Savannah Schoenecker plays Blyth mother of Trina (and basically the Bob Cratchit of the story) and as a hard-working mother with a sick child and wife of a working father she has her plate full all the time. Savannah also has an amazing voice and her song “Little Miracles” compassionately explains where her feelings reside. John Schroeder plays Blake – who has this long enduring love for Carol who never quite gives the right amount of attention that he deserves. John plays the role bright and optimistic and even hopeful and even laments slightly in his song “Separate Ways”. He and Hartley have a fun and developing relationship on stage and you too will feel their passion for each other grow because of John's spot-on performance. Emily Barnett gives a warm-hearted performance in the character of Fiona and you get a real taste of her character's Holiday feelings when she sings “This Christmas”. Harley Walker plays the dutiful intern Avalon and I loved her enthusiasm and excitement of her job and the fact she had to deal with Carol's nastiness. She made me laugh more than once and for all the right reasons. Two hysterical shout outs to Lloyd Pedersen for giving us a very memorable ‘Mr. Death' (complete with a Red suit) whose song, “Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil” will have you in stitches along with his other two characters Perlman and Mr. Forrester. He just had me smiling from the first note – to the last. And, another shout out to Monica Allan who gives us the three uniquely bold and funny characters of Mrs. Forrester, a ‘lover' in the ‘The Lover's' sequence and the High Priestess with her haunting song, “I Know Everything, I See Everything”. These two were stand-out fun to see. Some wonderfully song and dance ensemble members and colorful characters include; Ben Anderson as Pettit; Ryan J. Duncan as Leon and Howie; Kevin Hoffman as Felix the father of Trina; Lola Paja as Josie and Catrina Pereira as Patti. There is also a fun group of children playing Carolers who give the play a subtle warmth and slight bit of humor and they are performed by Celine June Bautista, Ellie Birdwell, Andrew Grigorian, Chihiro Kato and Momoka Kato. Nice job guys! Visually, it was great seeing some of the most practical and yet very sharp and smart costume designs by Morgan Gannes along with the versatile and unique set design of a modern-day trendy office as designed by Tesshi Nakagawa and some wonderful lighting designs and cues that augmented the whole show by Sabrina Beattie. Some of the other fun and catchy and immersively Holiday flavored songs include; ‘Just Another Christmas' – ‘Meet Cute' – ‘Close Your Eyes' – ‘This Party's Just For You' and many many more. My two absolutely favorites have to be the opening number “Christmas Time Is Here/Just Another Christmas” where we basically get a wonderful Christmas take from every character and what's going on around them - and the absolutely clever “Spelling Backwards” as sung by Peyton Kirkner with Ryan J. Duncan which just blew me away in both its complexity and performance. The Group Rep's production of “A Carol Christmas” at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood is a fun joyous twist of an Ol' Classic' – Christmas will never be the same after you see this show. New music. New dance. New laughs. Upbeat and fantastically fun for the whole family. Check them out at theGroupRep dot com and tell them Lorenzo sent you from FaceBook dot com/TheGeekAuthority ! ©2018 TheGeekAuthority dot com & ©2018 LandMProductions dot com Facebook dot com/TheGeekAuthority #[email protected] #thegrouprep #acarolchristmas #musicaltheatre#musicals Pic 001 – CENTER – John Schroeder, Hartley Powers TOP LEFT – Savannah Schoenecker, Peyton Kirkner - TOP RIGHT – Lloyd Pedersen – Middle Right – Hartley Powers, Debi Tinsley – Bottom Left – Janet Wood - Bottom 2nd – Debi Tinsley – Bottom 3rd – Hartley Powers, Savannah Schoenecker, Harley Walker - Bottom Right – Celine Bautista, Momoka Kato, Ellie Birdwell, Chihiro Kato, Andrew Grigorian

sweet - Lorenzo Marchessi


Steven Stanley

With just the right tweaking, it's easy to see A Carol Christmas living on after its Group Rep run. In the meantime, Charles Dickens lovers in search of something new this December can enjoy ninety merry, melodious minutes as Carol, like Scrooge before her, learns what Christmas really means.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Dickens in 2018 By Elaine Mura Charles Dickens never foresaw 2018; but, if he had; he would certainly have loved the Group Rep's modern treatment of his tale... If you long for a show that will delve into the meaning of Christmas, while also offering lots of entertainment, amusement, and enjoyment, then A CAROL CHRISTMAS will fill the bill.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Don Grigware

Doug Haverty and Bruce Kimmel have conceived a delightful holiday show. Listening to Kimmel's score is pure joy.

sweet - Don Grigware - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar

The show is only 90 minutes with no intermission but every one of those 90 minutes is packed with true entertainment value.

sweet - Ron Irwin - LA Post Examiner - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

Now in the age of #MeToo, playwright Doug Haverty has written a feminized, modernized update entitled A Carol Christmas...The original musical score by Bruce Kimmel is the show's best asset but also may be its biggest problem. Cramming 17 songs into a 90 minute running time leaves little time for character development.

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

Production work is first rate, including Tesshi Nakagawa's compact, multi-dimensional set, Morgan Gannes' hip, colorful costumes, and Austin Quan's atmospheric sound design. A Carol Christmas is an entertaining, appealing refreshment of Dickens' perennial holiday classic, a perfect family treat.

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Avatar

The Group Rep has another hit. The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate but with A CAROL CHRISTMAS. It will leave you with a smile on your face, and your toes tapping. Bring your Christmas/Holiday spirit and enjoy.

sweet - Cathy Wayne - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar

The writer, lyricist/director, musical director, choreographer, actors and crew that put this piece together are nothing less than magical in their creativity, wry sense of humor and fluid energy.

sweet - Radomir Luza - At the Theatre With Radomir Luza - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

Everyone in the cast is outstanding, the music and lyrics are sensational, and the book is clever and well-written. - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

sweet - Carol Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

The performers are all undeniably good singers. Kimmel's direction helped balance some of the productions' blandness with well-executed routines that do not overwhelm the narrative.

sweet-sour - Lara J. Altunian - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Luckily for the audience, director Bruce Kimmel spread some Christmas magic and adapted the classic story into something fun, amusing and woman power strong.

sweet - Mary E Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

With just the right tweaking, it's easy to see A Carol Christmas living on after its Group Rep run. In the meantime, Charles Dickens lovers in search of something new this December can enjoy ninety merry, melodious minutes as Carol, like Scrooge before her, learns what Christmas really means.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Dickens in 2018 By Elaine Mura Charles Dickens never foresaw 2018; but, if he had; he would certainly have loved the Group Rep's modern treatment of his tale... If you long for a show that will delve into the meaning of Christmas, while also offering lots of entertainment, amusement, and enjoyment, then A CAROL CHRISTMAS will fill the bill.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Don Grigware

Doug Haverty and Bruce Kimmel have conceived a delightful holiday show. Listening to Kimmel's score is pure joy.

sweet - Don Grigware - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar

The show is only 90 minutes with no intermission but every one of those 90 minutes is packed with true entertainment value.

sweet - Ron Irwin - LA Post Examiner - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

Now in the age of #MeToo, playwright Doug Haverty has written a feminized, modernized update entitled A Carol Christmas...The original musical score by Bruce Kimmel is the show's best asset but also may be its biggest problem. Cramming 17 songs into a 90 minute running time leaves little time for character development.

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

Production work is first rate, including Tesshi Nakagawa's compact, multi-dimensional set, Morgan Gannes' hip, colorful costumes, and Austin Quan's atmospheric sound design. A Carol Christmas is an entertaining, appealing refreshment of Dickens' perennial holiday classic, a perfect family treat.

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Avatar

The Group Rep has another hit. The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate but with A CAROL CHRISTMAS. It will leave you with a smile on your face, and your toes tapping. Bring your Christmas/Holiday spirit and enjoy.

sweet - Cathy Wayne - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar

The writer, lyricist/director, musical director, choreographer, actors and crew that put this piece together are nothing less than magical in their creativity, wry sense of humor and fluid energy.

sweet - Radomir Luza - At the Theatre With Radomir Luza - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

Everyone in the cast is outstanding, the music and lyrics are sensational, and the book is clever and well-written. - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

sweet - Carol Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

THEATRE REVIEW #785 - A Carol Christmas The Group Rep's Production of “A Carol Christmas” Is A Fun Joyous Twist Of An Ol' Classic' Written By Lorenzo Marchessi “A Carol Christmas” – Wow! Loved it! I'm sure Charles Dickens never saw this one coming. The Group Rep company in North Hollywood (at the Lonny Chapman Theatre) of creative talent has come up with a fresh and fun and musically delightful version of “A Christmas Carol” that will surprise you, touch you and just keep you toe-tapping and singing along! Producers Kevin Hoffman & Gina Yates have taken a large leap from traditional telling of this classic originally written in 1843 and brought modern-day fun back to live theatre with that Holiday flavor! With an amazingly original and completely entertaining book by Doug Haverty and the festive music and lyrics by Bruce Kimmel himself (also the Director), you are in for a real Holiday treat of a very familiar story done in a very modern setting that's so much fun! Musical director Richard Allen gave all these new songs a musical and vocal arrangement that your ears will feel like peppermint and cinnamon spice – and I dare you not to catch yourself smiling from cheek-to-cheek or singing along. Director Bruce Kimmel chose a wonderfully talented cast and a very stylized way to present the staging and musical numbers that nothing is lost, unheard or unclear. This is both technically and artistically brilliant! Now, add the fun, hip and engaging choreography by Kay Cole, this show literally doesn't miss a beat of Holiday Fun! Hartley Powers plays Carol and the nasty boss with clear wit and sharp tongue. And I haven't seen this much talent on stage in a long time. She is perfectly nasty, and when it comes down to it, Hartley gives a wonderful arch in her performance that just cuts you right to the bone. Now about her beautiful voice and powerful songs like “All I Want For Christmas” and “What Have I Learned” – well, she'll just – musically – blow you away. I loved her energy, sense of humor and sarcasm and along with her vocal talents – she carries this story from beginning to end with amazing talent! Just wow! Janet Wood plays both Joelle the deceased former partner of the business (aka Scrooge's Marley) and sings a very powerful song called “The Message” to get Carol slightly concerned about a lesson or three she is about to learn - and as Karina an amazing version of ‘The Ghost of X-mas Present' who also sings this hysterical song called “Owaska Tea” to help Hartley see what's actually going on in people's lives around her. Janet is dynamic. Janet is so incredibly funny and has an amazing voice – she is truly a musical/comedian. Okay, another wow! Peyton Kirkner plays Trina the younger daughter who is ill (aka Tiny Tim) and gives a very excited, yet physically challenged performance that is both fun and believable. Her real showcase is her song “Spelling Backwards” and it is not only smart and clever but a pure delight to see with a very unique and memorable choreography that you'll soon not forget. Debi Tinsley plays Mabel – ‘The Ghost of X-Mas Future' – is so charmingly delightful and again so funny to see as she uses her Tarot cards to spin the future for Carol. Even Debi's song “Tarot Cards” will have you laughing out loud and she plays the cards and moments like she owns the stage. Way too much fun to see. Debi Tinsley plays Odette who is ‘The Ghost of X-Mas Past' and I must say I loved the twist of a Psychologist talking Carol through her past and pinpointing various special moments. Debi again plays it very uniquely calm and very smart and with a dabble of humor throughout her performance. Her song “Close Your Eyes” is both moving and touching to the story that you'll find maybe a heart string of yours might be tugged. Savannah Schoenecker plays Blyth mother of Trina (and basically the Bob Cratchit of the story) and as a hard-working mother with a sick child and wife of a working father she has her plate full all the time. Savannah also has an amazing voice and her song “Little Miracles” compassionately explains where her feelings reside. John Schroeder plays Blake – who has this long enduring love for Carol who never quite gives the right amount of attention that he deserves. John plays the role bright and optimistic and even hopeful and even laments slightly in his song “Separate Ways”. He and Hartley have a fun and developing relationship on stage and you too will feel their passion for each other grow because of John's spot-on performance. Emily Barnett gives a warm-hearted performance in the character of Fiona and you get a real taste of her character's Holiday feelings when she sings “This Christmas”. Harley Walker plays the dutiful intern Avalon and I loved her enthusiasm and excitement of her job and the fact she had to deal with Carol's nastiness. She made me laugh more than once and for all the right reasons. Two hysterical shout outs to Lloyd Pedersen for giving us a very memorable ‘Mr. Death' (complete with a Red suit) whose song, “Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil” will have you in stitches along with his other two characters Perlman and Mr. Forrester. He just had me smiling from the first note – to the last. And, another shout out to Monica Allan who gives us the three uniquely bold and funny characters of Mrs. Forrester, a ‘lover' in the ‘The Lover's' sequence and the High Priestess with her haunting song, “I Know Everything, I See Everything”. These two were stand-out fun to see. Some wonderfully song and dance ensemble members and colorful characters include; Ben Anderson as Pettit; Ryan J. Duncan as Leon and Howie; Kevin Hoffman as Felix the father of Trina; Lola Paja as Josie and Catrina Pereira as Patti. There is also a fun group of children playing Carolers who give the play a subtle warmth and slight bit of humor and they are performed by Celine June Bautista, Ellie Birdwell, Andrew Grigorian, Chihiro Kato and Momoka Kato. Nice job guys! Visually, it was great seeing some of the most practical and yet very sharp and smart costume designs by Morgan Gannes along with the versatile and unique set design of a modern-day trendy office as designed by Tesshi Nakagawa and some wonderful lighting designs and cues that augmented the whole show by Sabrina Beattie. Some of the other fun and catchy and immersively Holiday flavored songs include; ‘Just Another Christmas' – ‘Meet Cute' – ‘Close Your Eyes' – ‘This Party's Just For You' and many many more. My two absolutely favorites have to be the opening number “Christmas Time Is Here/Just Another Christmas” where we basically get a wonderful Christmas take from every character and what's going on around them - and the absolutely clever “Spelling Backwards” as sung by Peyton Kirkner with Ryan J. Duncan which just blew me away in both its complexity and performance. The Group Rep's production of “A Carol Christmas” at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood is a fun joyous twist of an Ol' Classic' – Christmas will never be the same after you see this show. New music. New dance. New laughs. Upbeat and fantastically fun for the whole family. Check them out at theGroupRep dot com and tell them Lorenzo sent you from FaceBook dot com/TheGeekAuthority ! ©2018 TheGeekAuthority dot com & ©2018 LandMProductions dot com Facebook dot com/TheGeekAuthority #[email protected] #thegrouprep #acarolchristmas #musicaltheatre#musicals Pic 001 – CENTER – John Schroeder, Hartley Powers TOP LEFT – Savannah Schoenecker, Peyton Kirkner - TOP RIGHT – Lloyd Pedersen – Middle Right – Hartley Powers, Debi Tinsley – Bottom Left – Janet Wood - Bottom 2nd – Debi Tinsley – Bottom 3rd – Hartley Powers, Savannah Schoenecker, Harley Walker - Bottom Right – Celine Bautista, Momoka Kato, Ellie Birdwell, Chihiro Kato, Andrew Grigorian

sweet - Lorenzo Marchessi