Theatre Sarnia staging the family holiday classic

Scrooge, played by Joe Agocs, and the Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Elizabeth Walton, in rehearsal for A Christmas Carol at The Imperial Theatre. Submitted Photo

Marco Vigliotti

Theatre Sarnia’s production of the yuletide staple “A Christmas Carol” is set to begin at the Imperial Theatre Friday, with producers promising a show to brighten the spirits of the most miserly theatregoer.

The company’s interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic fable boasts family-friendly credentials, with a real-life mother-daughter-father-son team taking the stage as the kindly Cratchit clan.

“We have quite a large family group gathering in the show,” said director Anthony Fracalanza. “It will be great for people to see that.”

This December marks the 171st anniversary of the publication of the Dickens novel, in which the joyless, penny-pinching miser Ebenezer Scrooge is changed into a generous man through an encounter with three helpful spectres.

Fracalanza said he chose to undertake the oft-performed story because it appeals to all ages and, with its message of kindness and compassion, is the quintessential Christmas tale.

In fact, the heartfelt sentiments proved inspirational during rehearsals, Fracalanza said.

“If you’re not having the best of days, you go into rehearsal and by the end of it, you end up smiling and walking away laughing,” he explained. “It’s just that type of show that can really change a person.”

The show has an ensemble cast of more than 60 performers, including 53 in speaking roles.

In casting Joe Agocs as Scrooge, Fracalanza said he sought an actor who could show emotional growth and demonstrate his character truly has “Christmas in his heart.”

“Agocs…plays that character very, very well,” he added. “He’s just shocked me and amazed in all aspects (of his performance).”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Theatre Sarnia presents ‘A Christmas Carol.’

WHERE: Imperial Theatre.

WHEN: Nov. 21 to 22 and 26 to 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2:00 p.m.

COST: $25 adults, $22 seniors and $12.50 students.

OTHER: Tickets available at the Imperial Theatre box-office, online at http://www.imperialtheatre.net or by phone at (519)-344-7469.