Queens residents have the opportunity to watch the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” at two local venues this holiday season.

The first presentation will be at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center in Bayside on Friday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand in this 850-seat proscenium theater for a third year in a row, the North Country Center for the Arts’s National Touring Company will offer a version that overflows with music, laughter, and special effects. The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is extremely grumpy at the onset, while the ghosts who visit him during his nightmares are larger-than-life and really scary, dressed in lush costumes. A few carols are woven into the experience.

Ticket prices are $35 and $40 with half the proceeds going to a fund that supports the performance space, which is located at 222-05 56th Ave.

Then, the Titan Theatre Company will open its version of “A Christmas Carol” at Queens Theatre on Friday, Dec. 7. The Woodside-based troupe will do 13 shows there through Sunday, Dec. 23.

Now in its fifth year, this production is fast-paced with dialogue adapted by Emily Trask, an actress and cellist who also yodels, and Titan Founder Lenny Banovez. It also has a gender-bender twist with female actresses taking on the roles of two main characters who have traditionally been male. France native Carine Montbertrand, who studied at Le Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris, is Scrooge, while Laura Frye plays the part of Jacob Marley, a deceased business partner who appears in chains in Scrooge’s nightmare, berating him for his greed and indifference to other people’s suffering. (Makeup Artist Lee E. Ernst and Wig Master Lara Dalbey are in charge of making the transformations.)

Tickets are $25 with shows on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 9 at 4 p.m., Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 16 at 4 p.m., Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 23 at 4 p.m. Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Ave. S. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Set in Victorian England, “A Christmas Carol” begins with Scrooge, a wealthy banker, refusing to attend a family dinner on Dec. 24. While claiming it’s not deserved, he gives his long-suffering clerk, Bob Cratchit, the next day off while emphasizing how much he hates the season. Later that night, he has nightmares during which the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future make him question his obsession with money and reflect on his anti-social life. He wakes up seeking redemption. He gives Cratchit a raise. He agrees to visit his family. He even starts treating people with kindness, making an anonymous donation.

The story was first published as a novella in London in 1843.

Images: Titan Theatre Company

 

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