With its message of generosity and empathy, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday classic that has endured adaptations from the Muppets to Mister Magoo.
Local theatre company Players on Air Inc., will present the musical version of the show this weekend at Crosswind Church in Westminster, 640 Lucabaugh Mill Road. Show times are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.
Tickets for “A Christmas Carol: The Musical!” are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and children. They can be purchased online at www.tickettailor.com or at the door. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. The opening night’s ticket sales will go back to the church to help them continue their work through their benevolence fund.
Director and producer of the show, Laura Wonsala, said the production is the largest they’ve ever done, with 47 local actors filling out the cast. Musical direction was done by Matthew Lamb and choreography by Justin Patterson.
The story is the same tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge, “a grouchy man who hates everybody and hates life” and the ghostly encounters that prompt him to grow as a person and become part of his community.
“With the music added to it, it really gives it a different flair,” Wonsala said.
The show is under two hours long, and there is a short intermission.
“We’re looking forward to bringing something to the the community ... with 47 cast members from the community,” Wonsala said, adding that they want to start a tradition with the musical that families will return to for years to come.
Throughout the rehearsal process, Crosswind has been their venue, for about seven hours per week in the beginning, and increasing as they get closer to showtime.
“We jam-pack a lot into those seven hours,” Wonsala said with a laugh.
And bringing the world of Dickensonian London to life has also been an exciting challenge for the production team.
Creating the costumes has been “a blast,” though the voluminous petticoats mean the cast needs more room for costume storage than mosts shows.
And Wonsala said that creating the special effects has made her appreciate even more the skills of the technical theatre crew.
“We have amazing sound and lighting crew that have really run with every idea I’ve thrown at them,” she said.
Founded in 2017, Players On Air, Inc. is based in southern Carroll County and performs multiple productions per year, interspersed with one-night musical revue nights. Their production of “1776” will go onstage March 13 this year, and audition dates for “Bye Bye Birdie” are forthcoming.