'A Christmas Carol' comes to life on stage

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The traditional holiday story "A Christmas Carol" takes the stage of Jacksonville's Times-Union Center's Moran Theater for one performance only at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21.

The heartwarming tale of A Christmas Carol depicts Ebenezer Scrooge, whose values are focused exclusively on profit, and his conflicts with the struggling Cratchit family, whose tragic problems typified the working class during the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England. The touching climax is based on Dickens' belief that the ills of a greedy world can be healed by brotherhood and unselfishness.

When Charles Dickens wrote his "ghostly little tale" in 1843, he couldn't know that A Christmas Carol was destined to become one of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan has been touring Charles Jones' delightful adaptation of A Christmas Carol since 1979.

The Caravan's Carol is probably the most widely produced production of Dickens' in the nation, annually performing for more than 100,000 people in more than 60 cities across the country. Twenty-eight performers bring Dickens' fable of redemption to life on a set created by noted designer James Othuse.

This Victorian version of Christmas magic is presented with a full array of traditional Christmas carols interwoven with the well-known story. The songs themselves are traditional, but musical arrangements courtesy of John Bennett are contemporary.

The colorful scenery and elaborate costumes faithfully recreate the Victorian period. Exceptional voices, lively dancing and dazzling special effects like the mysterious spinning bed combine to create a spectacular holiday show for the entire family.

Tickets start at $26.50 ($13.25 for children 12 and under) and are available at ArtistSeriesjax.org or (904) 442-BWAY.