The American Southwest Theatre Company debuted Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on Nov. 18 at the Associated Students of New Mexico Center for the Arts. The show will run through Dec. 4. The play has not been performed at NMSU since 2019, and it returns three years later with a new director and cast who present a very interesting adaptation of the story.
This time around, “A Christmas Carol” is directed by guest director Norman Lewis, who has co-produced Emmy winners like actress Loretta Swit. Swit appeared in a memorable benefit performance at NMSU, which raised over $25,000 for NMSU’s theatre department scholarship fund in 2014.
The production runs for roughly an hour and a half. The play is split into two acts with a 15-minute intermission in between. The beginning of the play is slow and perhaps there was a bit of overacting in the performance I saw, but I believe it’s meant to be, as it truly did make me dislike the protagonist Scrooge, played by Randy Koonse.
All of the performers had their British accents down, and they delivered the right energy to make the play feel tense. The production and lighting crew are skilled and the props used for the play looked good considering the smaller size of the stage.
There were many good performers that made the play lively. Characters that receive the most time in the spotlight are Fred, played by Austin Reeve, and Belle, played by Angelique Reagan, who performed spectacularly, along with the rest of the cast.
The second act is when the spirits of Christmas past, present and future appear. The lighting and acting were convincing and aided the telling of the story.
It’s important to note that “A Christmas Carol” is not a musical, but instead uses musical elements to enhance the play. Toward the end of the second act, the cast encourages the audience to sing along with them.
The props, along with the 19th-century wardrobe, enhanced the performance’s aesthetics. It was easy to hear and understand all of the speaking parts.
If you have not seen “A Christmas Carol,” and even if you have, I recommend attending ASTC’s performance. The production quality is very good and the cast themselves do a spectacular job at retelling the well-known story using their energy and dedication. This is the perfect play for families because it is enjoyable and it’s a story that most people know. It made me feel excited for the holidays.
There are only three showings left at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts on NMSU’s main campus. Tickets may be purchased online and general admission is $20. Pricing is discounted for those under 18, students with a student I.D. and military members.
Remaining showtimes are as follows:
Friday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to New Mexico State University, the NMSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Kokopelli, or any other organization, committee, group or individual.