Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday standard, but keeping the classic story fresh and engaging can be a challenge.
That challenge is one the Heritage Square Music Hall is meeting.
The Music Hall, 18301 W. Colfax Ave. in Golden, has adapted Dickens’ story in two ways for its holiday productions — one for children, with “A Children’s Christmas Carol,” and one for the entire family, titled “Our Christmas Carol.”
“A Children’s Christmas Carol” runs through Saturday, Dec. 29, and “Our Christmas Carol” goes until Monday, Dec. 31.
“During the entire year, we always try to do something unique, and this is definitely a part of that,” said Thomas Mullin, owner of the hall and producer of the shows. “We stay true to the story, but try to have a little fun with it.”
Mullin said the holiday season is the busiest time of year for the hall, and to accommodate audiences, they increase the schedule from performing five days a week to seven days.
The hall’s production of “A Children’s Christmas Carol” is a retelling of the story, with the goal of helping children “try and keep the Christmas spirit throughout the year,” as Dickens wrote.
“Our Christmas Carol” is adapted from the story, but takes a decidedly humorous turn. Mullin said it is more a spoof than a retelling.
“We do a lot of comedy plays, and we get audience participation in both the adult and children productions,” he said. “It’s a great time getting audience members on stage and letting them have fun with it.”
“Our Christmas Carol” has been part of the hall’s repertoire off and on since 1992, and Annie Dwyer has been part of the production many times. She said she has worked at the hall for 22 years, and calls it “one great big, dysfunctional family.”
“Working here is great because we get to be such a large part of the production,” she said. “We are not only actors but get to have a hand in all aspects of the production.”
Dwyer plays several characters in the play, including the Ghost of Christmas Past; Martha Cratchit; and the wife of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. She said she tries to be as comical as she can, and that’s what makes the production so fun.
“Our Christmas Carol” is a one-act play, and the second half of the evening is a Christmas review with classic Christmas carols (both secular and spiritual), and parodies and comedy skits for all ages.
The variety and comedy of the performances make them standouts among other holiday theater fare, according to Dwyer.
“Everybody knows the story, but this takes it and adds a great comical twist,” she said. “People say they know ‘A Christmas Carol,’ but they’ve never seen this one.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 303-279-7800 or go online to www.hsmusichall.com.