‘Christmas Carol’ kicks off season at Atlanta theater
by Caroline Young
December 05, 2012 12:00 AM | 4682 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cast of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ including Lovett student Morgan Gao of Marietta, rehearse the show. The play runs now through Dec. 23 at the Alliance Theatre in Midtown Atlanta.<br>Special to the MDJ/Greg Mooney
The cast of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ including Lovett student Morgan Gao of Marietta, rehearse the show. The play runs now through Dec. 23 at the Alliance Theatre in Midtown Atlanta.
Special to the MDJ/Greg Mooney
ATLANTA — For the 23rd year, “A Christmas Carol” is under way at the Alliance Theatre in Midtown. This year, the role of Tiny Tim is played by a Marietta boy.

Attendees will enjoy the classic Charles Dickens story of Ebenezer Scrooge, complete with stage magic, Christmas carols and holiday cheer.

Chris Kayser is back for his 20th year as Scrooge.

“I love that Chris will just change his performance because someone is giving him a different take on their character,” said director Rosemary Newcott, of Stone Mountain.

Newcott has been directing the show for about 12 years, and served as assistant director before then, she said.

“The script remains the same. It is David Bell’s adaptation,” Newcott said. “We always try to do some different elements in it. Certainly recasting always changes it. Sometimes it makes for a totally different scene.”

One new face on the stage is Marietta resident Morgan Gao, 7, as Tiny Tim. Gao attends the Lovett school.

“I am very excited. I love the actors and I love to perform,” Gao said. “Tiny Tim has a crutch because he has a broken leg. … He really believes in God.”

Gao learned about the role after attending summer camp at the theater and was called in to audition for the part.

“A teacher said this young man is really outstanding,” Newcott said. “He just has a natural stage presence. … I knew he had the heart for it, too.”

Gao said he likes how Scrooge changes to become a better man.

“And he gets to like Christmas,” he said. “And I like the part with Jacob Marley. He died seven years ago from that Christmas Day and he was his partner. He comes back from death and makes Scrooge change.”

Newcott said she feels as if she returns home every year to direct “A Christmas Carol.”

“It’s really a gift to go back to it,” she said. “The story itself gives you the sense that you can change at whatever age. … It reassures us that could happen.”

Newcott said she hopes audience members not only laugh and feel the spirit of the season and sense of community, but also remember the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive.”

“Opening your heart may be risky but it can pay off in a big way,” she said. “I think that’s what happened to [Scrooge]. He closed down his heart.”

Newcott said the cast reflects the diversity of the city of Atlanta.

“This is our gift to Atlanta,” she said. “We are a city to be proud of.”

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