You have until Christmas Eve to catch Dallas Theater Center's robust production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. For this one, the company moves back to its old home at Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek, and that's a treat. Kalita really is such a perfectly snug place to stage this classic Christmas ghost story. Every seat feels close to the stage and the production directed by Joel Ferrell makes lavish use of the house's aisles and entrances.
Kurt Rhoads plays Ebenezer Scrooge, making him a fearsome figure who gradually, through the visits by those scary specters, comes to realize his life lived for money has been no life at all. As the beleaguered Bob Cratchit, actor Lee Trull nicely embodies the one-percenter terrified of losing his job with old Scrooge and leaving his family, including disabled Tiny Tim (played by the beyond-adorable Kuran Patel), destitute.
This production plays up the nightmares that awaken Scrooge on Christmas Eve, with lots of pop-out-of-nowhere appearances by the dead Jacob Marley (Jonathan Brooks, who's simply splendid), Ghost of Christmas Past (a lissome Abbey Siegworth) and the unspeaking Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Alex Ross on towering stilts). Fog machines keep the atmosphere appropriately London-esque. The echoing clanking of chains will chill your bones.
Full of special effects and lively music and dancing (the Richard Hellesen adaptation uses original tunes by David de Berry), this Carol can't help but warm the heart and spark the spirit of Christmas in even the grinchiest humbug.
Mingle with cast members at the after-show discussion and don't forget to toss a shilling or two in the baskets at the end of the night. DTC contributes all donations to the North Texas Food Bank. Last year they collected more than $40,000 from Christmas Carol crowds.
A Christmas Carol continues through December 24 at Kalita Humphreys Theater. Call 214-880-0202.