Since it was first published in 1843, Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol has captured the imagination of readers and the spirit of Christmas. The ghostly story of Ebeneezer Scrooge has been adapted for the big screen twenty times, and even more for television and stage. It’s as tied to the holiday as pine trees and sugar cookies. Is there anything that could make this story better?
Add Muppets, of course!
I consider myself something of a Christmas Carol connoisseur. This story, more than any Christmas story (aside from the big one!), is my family’s go-to for the holidays. And The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite adaptation of all time. (With a special shout-out to the George C. Scott 1984 classic!)
Does it help that I was seven years old when it came out in theaters in 1992? Of course! But its heart-warming storytelling and sharp sense of humor (not to mention its clever use of puppetry!) are what bring me back every year to my favorite Christmas movie, my favorite Muppet movie, and, frankly, one of my favorite movies of all time.
The first Muppet movie made after Jim Henson’s untimely passing, The Muppet Christmas Carol features a few nods to the creator, including a shooting star that Kermit the Frog watches early in the movie. Kermit plays faithful employee Bob Cratchit, but I won’t spoil any more clever Muppet casting here for those who haven’t seen the film yet. I will, however, spend some time praising Michael Caine’s performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge. He is always fully committed, even when he’s acting against a miniature mouse Muppet, and his heartfelt performance grounds the story while never getting in the way of the fun.
Every family has its holiday traditions. My family’s Christmas Eve includes corned beef sandwiches and beloved frog puppets. What could be better?
This year, though, I’ll be viewing the movie a bit earlier than usual. (Don’t worry, family, we’ll still get in our Christmas Eve tradition!) I couldn’t miss a chance to see the movie again on the big screen, now could I?
Whether you’re seeing the movie for the first time or the twenty-sixth time (and I may still have you beat!), Waukesha Civic Theatre hopes you’ll join us for our December PIX Flix showing. Tickets are only $5. Be sure to pick up some Pop’s Kettle Corn at the concession stand, and we’ll see you on December 10th at 6:30!
Waukesha Civic Theatre is taking a “gender spin” in its revival of the Kaufman and Hart’s comedy You Can’t Take It With You. It’s still 1938 but the eccentric Sycamore clan will be headed by a matriarch called “Nana”. New Berlin-based veteran actress Antoinette Stikl will step into the shoes of the typically male role when the play opens on October 18.
“This beloved, Pultizer-prize-winning comedy has been a revival favorite for theatres of all kinds since its premiere almost 77 years ago,” says first-time WCT director, John Kibler. In his research for the play, which premiered in December 1936, the idea of casting a woman in the patriach’s role took shape because all the historical information supported the idea so well.
“Often during the Depression, women stepped into men’s traditional role of family breadwinner out of necessity,” says Kibler, “given that many men refused clerical and secretarial jobs that were typically identified with women.” The rapid growth of the New Deal in the early 1930’s lead to the first female cabinet secretary in American history (Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor) and expanded working opportunities for all working women (not to mention the two million unemployed in 1933) dealing with the economic and social challenges of the Great Depression.
“The affirmation of individuality that lies at the heart of this play,” says Kibler, “creates the perfect environment for Nana Vanderhoff to share the Sycamore family’s belief in charm, wisdom, eccentricity, innocence, selflessness and good will to a 21st century audience.” Eager to forget the bad news at home and the worse news abroad, people flocked to You Can’t Take It With You when it opened in 1936 for a much needed laugh. Nana Vanderhoff will provide that same experience for a 21st century audience eager for exactly the same thing.
Come check it out between October 26th and November 3rd! For more information, including pricing and show times, please feel free to contact our Box Office at 262.547.0708 or email@example.com or visit our website: waukeshacivictheatre.org