I've had articles piling up for weeks and am only just getting around to posting some of them now, so I'm sorry to say that both the musicals I'm about to post about are no longer running. But it's worth knowing that they've had their premieres, and worth keeping a lookout for future runs! Laurie Hornsby's new musical version of Great Expectations, titled Tear Down the Curtains, had its world premiere in Broadstairs last month. Wendy Kesselman's new musical Madame Defargealso premiered last month, in Gloucester.
In this interview with Radio Times, Ayeesha Menon talks about her new radio play that updates A Tale of Two Cities and places it in modern Syria. The first part of A Tale of Two Cities: Aleppo and London will air tomorrow on BBC Radio 4. We Americans will be able to hear it here, shortly after the broadcast.
In a heartfelt column, Chicago Tribune reporter Darcel Rockett describes how, after years of feeling put off by A Christmas Carol, she was won over by the Goodman Theatre production and now finds it "a much-needed balm to a chapped soul."
Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, creators of Annie and Bye Bye Birdie, also wrote a musical based on The Old Curiosity Shop, titled A Pound in Your Pocket. The musical never played New York, but now it's getting a one-night-only concert performance there at Feinstein's/54 Below on January 24. Go here and here for details!
Merry Christmas, fellow Dickensians! Here are a few especially good stories that I saved for today:
Eric T. Styles writes beautifully on "What being one of the first black Tiny Tims taught me about the Incarnation." A sample: "Just as expanding the family of 'Tims' to be more like the children of Chicago draws a broader audience to more fully participate in the message and wonder of 'A Christmas Carol,' in a much deeper way the power and inherent meaning of the Incarnation of the Christ child, of God becoming like the children of this world, draws us all into its salvific mystery."
In his article, Styles pays tribute to cancer survivor Paris Strickland, who is playing Tiny Tim in Chicago this year. The Chicago Tribune has an interview with Strickland, the first girl to play the role at the Goodman Theatre. Another cancer survivor, Aidan Clarkson, is playing Tim in Norfolk, Va., while his dad, Trey, plays several small roles in the production. Here's their story.
And Ross Macfarlane has written a delightful story for the Scotsman about how Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol.
David Hyde Pierce, John Glover, Harriet Harris, and more will appear in a one-night-only benefit reading of A ChristmasCarol, adaptedby Crispin Whittell, at New York's Hunter College on December 11. Playbillhas the details.