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Can three ghosts convince a penny-pinching misanthrope to open his heart and wallet to the world?

The North Country Center for the Arts National Touring Company will present its version of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 3 p.m. Ticket options are $35 and $40, and as much as 40 percent of the purchase price will go to a fund benefiting the 50-year-old proscenium theater with 850 seats.

This is a true example of “back by popular demand,” as the same troupe, which is located in New Hampshire, performed the same play at QPAC last year. This production overflows with music and laughter, special effects, lush costumes, some extremely scary ghosts, and an exceptionally grumpy old man. Traditional carols are woven into the experience.

The story begins with the main character, a banker named “Ebenezer Scrooge,” rejecting an invitation to a family dinner on Christmas Eve. He also refuses to help some people in need and only begrudgingly allows his overworked and underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, to take off the next day. He hates the season and all humanity, preferring his money.

Alone on a cold night, he falls asleep only to have three nightmares — featuring the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future — that make him reflect on his angry, miserable personality. He wakes up a changed man who seeks redemption, treating people with kindness and generosity. He visits his family, gives Cratchit a raise, and makes an anonymous donation.

First published in London in 1843 as a novella, the play is credited with popularizing the phrase “Merry Christmas” and introducing the terms “Scrooge” and “Bah Humbug” into the English vernacular. It also catapulted Christmas from a second-rate holiday, comparable to Boxing Day and less important than Easter, into a major annual event in Great Britain. The story has also had enduring worldwide success since making its debut, being translated into dozens of languages and being produced in every media format, from film to ballet to opera.

QPAC is located on the Queensborough Community College campus at 222-05 56th Ave. in Bayside.

Images: QPAC

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