Fright Before Christmas

Oh, drear, Dallas Theater Center's annual Carol serves up a Dickens of a downer

Missed most are all those theatrical zings of yesteryear. Repeat DTC Carol-goers will recall a Spirit of Christmas Past who emerged in a moment of ooh-aah stage magic out of the middle of Scrooge's bedstead. Christmas Future was once a gigantic puppet looming over the audience. Now the former is a little girl (Clara Peretz) who steps from Scrooge's closet like a pale child playing hide-and-seek. Marley's Ghost (Bob Reed) is still a noisy chain-rattler, but now when he tumbles backward into an open grave it's just plain creepy. And those Act 2 zombies, zounds. It's one thing to play up the darker side of Dickens, but Moscone and friends offer images that could trigger night terrors.

James Carpenter, as Scrooge, right, doesn't make us care a whit about his character. The zombies evoke more empathy.
Linda Blase
James Carpenter, as Scrooge, right, doesn't make us care a whit about his character. The zombies evoke more empathy.

Details

continues at the Arts District Theater through December 24. Call 214-522-8499.

There is more Christmas spirit in Macbeth.

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