The swift 90-minute show remarkably shares the story of a holiday grinch and his transformation into a kinder man using visions and ghosts of the past, present and yet to come.
The company hopes to be able to make their production an annual tradition in Queens. The goal, according to Lenny Banovez, the director, was to have something that audiences can add to their own holiday traditions. In fact, their hashtag for the show is #TheTraditionContinues.
Michael Selkirk, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, has been with the company since its establishment about five years ago. He played a variety of supporting roles including a father, a servant and a duke. ‘A Christmas Carol’ has been his first lead for the company, and what a sparkling lead debut it was.
Selkirk’s Scrooge is what one thinks of when reading the story. At the beginning of the play, a darkness emits from him. His powerful voice bellows with a hatred of Christmas. And yet, his whole being rings with cheer by the end, and everything in between is a roller coaster of emotion.
The terrific acting by the entire cast is what makes this play stand out. There are shows that you could watch and merely observe, and then there are shows that pull you in and make you feel as if you are a part of it. Because of the superior acting chops of every cast member, from the symbolic Tiny Tim to the deserving Bob Cratchit and the larger-than-life characters of the townsfolk, this is a show that truly takes you to Victorian England. The slivers of humor throughout the play are a bonus.
In addition to the cast of talent, the stage was beautifully put together. While trying to avoid any spoilers, it’s noted that they used every nook and cranny in the theatre to recreate the story in a multifaceted way. While the show is in an intimate room at Queens Theatre, Banovez and his crew defines the spaces so well without over exaggerating anything. Your imagination is left to wander and fill in the rest of the scene’s setting.
The fashion is superb. The period styled clothing is lovely, but the various gowns worn during the Fezziwig’s holidays celebrations and the icy gown worn by the Ghost of Christmas Past are exquisite. The faceless Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’s costume is haunting, more emphasized and than what we are used to seeing.
“It’s more than just a Christmas play, it’s a feel-good story and could even be considered a ghost story that takes place during the holidays,” Banovez said. “It leaves you feeling good about life, especially now with things being the way they are in the world, it’s definitely something I’m proud we’re doing and reaching so many people with.”
Banovez also said that Titan’s priority is to serve the Queens community and provide them with a spectacular show each year. However, the second priority is to serve the rest of the New York City community, which can be done when there’s good theater — people will want to travel to see it.
Well, people will want to see this whether you’re from the five boroughs or Long Island. This is a feel-good production that will have you awing every bit of the way. You don’t need overpriced tickets to Broadway when you have this production right in your backyard.