GUTHRIE — Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” is well known to everyone and touches every person in a unique way. Stephen P. Scott's “A Territorial Christmas Carol” reaches out specifically to residents of Central Oklahoma and has become a tradition at the Pollard Theatre.
The show sets the story in Oklahoma Territory just after the Land Run over a century ago. W. Jerome Stevenson's direction makes “A Territorial Christmas Carol” a new and exciting show every year.
This year, the production adds some new faces and expands on favorite characters with a little more humor than in previous years. Perhaps that humor is exactly what is needed to face the future, as the settlers required humor in their day.
James Ong is Ebenezer Scrooge once again, and this year he presents an even more delightful Scrooge — first ridiculous in his miserliness, and second, joyous in his transformation. James Hughes is also back as Bob Cratchit, Ben Moody and Mr. Fezziwig, with Megan Montgomery as Mrs. Cratchit and Mrs. Moody. They have an excellent rapport.
Timothy Stewart is Dickens and Topper, and once again excites us as a storyteller. In addition to directing, Stevenson is the frightening Jacob Marley as well as a Civil War veteran and the settler, John Kettle.
Trinity Goodwin is the beautiful Ghost of Christmas Past, as well as Caroline and others, and adds a great component to the cast. Emily Frances Brown is the lovely niece, as well as Belle, the lost love. She stands up well in her performances in her second year with the show. Gwendolyn Evans' Widow Brown nearly steals the show.
New faces include Joshua McGowan as Scrooge's nephew, the youthful apprentice Scrooge and the undertaker, with Jared Blount as Hamilton Moore, the Ghost of Christmas Present and other cameos including the pawnbroker.
These two are hilarious in the scene at the Pawnbrokers with Widow Brown and others almost to the point of caricature. The humor is a nice offset to the tragedy that may unfold if Scrooge doesn't wake up and “come to the party” of life.
The children are double cast so as not to overload young schoolchildren with excessive rehearsals. Callen Stewart is a very refreshing Tiny Tim. Matt Maloy plays William Moody and Peter Cratchit. Both children show a great deal of promise.
The remaining cast members all demonstrate a great deal of talent and dedication under Stevenson's guidance. The casts alternate so patrons who wish to see a particular young person should inquire at the box office to make sure they are reserving the right night.
— Elizabeth Hurd