Tickets are now available for To Begin With, the new play about Dickens's writing of The Life of Our Lord, starring Gerald Dickens.It premieres February 19 at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis. If any of you are lucky enough to go, please comment and tell us all about it!
Three very different musical versions of A Christmas Carol are in the news:
A new one-man opera version premiered Friday at Houston Grand Opera, co-written and directed by Dickensian actor/writer Simon Callow. The opera, and tenor Jay Hunter Morris, got a rave review in the Houston Chronicle. The show runs through Dec. 21.
Meanwhile, the Cedar Falls Community Theatre in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is premiering Storybook Christmas, a country music version of the Carol. It updates the story to the present and seems to have some fun and creative ideas (none other than Johnny Cash is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come!). It runs through Dec. 14.
The Greene Space in New York City will present its annual production of A Christmas Carol: A Radio Drama on December 8, with a cast of Broadway veterans including Mark Linn-Baker and Jefferson Mays. Information and tickets are available here!
Last year I mentioned that a play about the writing of The Life of Our Lord was in development. The other day, Gary Colledge, who's serving as consultant, wrote to give me an update on the project.
The title of the play is To Begin With. It's being written by Jeffrey Hatcher and produced by Dennis Babcock. And Gerald Dickens, who has spent so much time portraying his ancestor in one-man shows and who participated in several staged readings of this play in London, will star in the U.S. production. They hope to open in Minneapolis, "perhaps as early as February 2015."
Below is a short synopsis from a draft of a brochure that Gary sent:
Thomas Howes, who played William on Downton Abbey, will be hosting the stage showWhat the Dickens: Haunted, in his hometown of Doncaster on October 12. The show "will form the finale of a series of Dickens-themed productions hosted by Thomas at the venue over the last few years."