Each year, Williamsburg’s stately aura of perfectly hung wreaths and picturesque shop windows gets a jolt of silliness: a goofy rendition of the timeless Dickens holiday tale, “A Christmas Carol,” pops up downtown in Merchant’s Square. It’s unbelievably quick (30 minutes), put on by only two people (plus a few audience participants), and always attracts a crowd.
The setup is like a life-size Polly Pocket theater- the back and sides all open up and presto, there’s a stage, complete with lights, a set that transforms itself into multiple sets, and even a backstage somehow. Oh! And there’s puppets, for you Muppet Christmas Carol fans.
The title role is played by Ed Whitacre (a Master Thespian, mind you). He is probably the most over-the-top Scrooge I have ever seen- and it fits the production perfectly. Mark Lerman does everything else, including playing multiple roles (and genders) and controlling the set.
The production this year is a musical (insert jazz hands here!!). So besides puppets and a zany Scrooge, just to make it more ridiculous, there are musical numbers peppered throughout (you may recognize songs from The Pirates of Penzance and Phantom of the Opera, among other musicals).
Now, if you get there early and get a spot up front, you could be picked to participate!
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that this is free yet, but- it is! The schedule is 5pm Fridays, 3:30 and 5pm Saturdays and Sundays. This Saturday, there’s an extra performance at 2pm on Saturday.
I’ll leave you with a video and more pics. But don’t forget to check out the real thing this weekend or next! As always, more things to do in the calendar. Have a great one, everybody-