By Dr. KIM HWANG
MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 20, 2013) — If you are looking for a play that reflects Christmas time and Christmas spirit, The Guthrie Theater’s Christmas Carol rekindles ideas about both. The fictitious life story of Ebenezer Scrooge, played by J.C. Cutler reminds me that there is some truth in the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” I was reminded that all of our decisions matter.
The Christmas Carol is a story about a man named Scrooge who is forced to examine his life through the lens of ghosts. Each ghost reflects the impact of Scrooges decisions to be financially stingy and emotionally crass. In the context of the play, Ebenezer Scrooge is able to realize that his selfish ways do not serve him well. Therefore, he eventually recommits his life towards investing in others versus just himself.
The multimedia production is filled with a broad range of beautifully sung music, energetic dance, extraordinary costumes, creative sets and ideas about time travel. I enjoyed the creative interplay of past, present and future. Too often, we make quick decisions without realizing how we affect those around us and those we profess to care about. Characters were convincing and prompted audience members to evaluate ideas about relationships, values, forgiveness and gratitude.
This play will be performed at the Guthrie Theater up until December 29, 2013. It’s a perfect story leading up to the New Year of 2014. The cast does a delightful and convincing job reminding us to look back at our past mistakes, as a motivation to change. Too often, our busy schedules keep us from looking at ways in which our behavior influences others. Some of us focus on what’s missing, rather than what we have. The story of Scrooge teaches us to remember what is abundant in each of our lives. Scrooge is a story that attempts to rekindle a genuine spirit of generosity that we all possess. While sometimes we have more to give than others. The Christmas Carol allows us to see that giving of ourselves is important and that generosity takes on many forms of kindness, which we all have within us to develop.
The lessons from the play are important. Values about how to treat humankind are manifested through The Christmas Carol in a way that opens your heart and leaves you better for having seen the play.