The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH, Ty Jones, producing artistic director) presents the second year of its holiday production, “A Christmas Carol in Harlem,” based on the timeless work by Charles Dickens. The show which began on Dec. 8 will end on Dec. 21. The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of A Christmas Carol in Harlem will be playing at:City College Center for the Arts’ Aaron Davis Hall, Corner of 135th St. and Convent Ave., New York, NY 10027.
Carl Cofield direct this year’s productionbased on an adaptation by Shawn René Graham with new choreography by Tiffany Rea-Fisher (Artistic Director of Elisa Monte Dance).
This season, the show moves into a three-quarter thrust theater, offering audiences a more intimate theater experience and allowing them to share in the spirit of the show. Cofield has re-imagined large portions of the work to fit this new space and to build on the festive themes throughout the play while allowing the drama of Scrooge’s past to unfold. This includes a new set, music pieces, projections, costumes and casting that establishes A Christmas Carol in Harlem as a modern addition to New York City’s annual holiday offerings.
Set in present-day Harlem, this holiday treasure is dramatized with CTH’s signature style of infusing classic works with an uptown flair. A Christmas Carol in Harlem places Ebenezer Scrooge as a real estate mogul who has made his fortune at the expense of others. Scrooge foregoes using his wealth to affect positive change within his Harlem community and instead lives a life of miserly solitude. That is, until three unexpected visitors arrive on Christmas Eve to show him the value of family and how cooperation can lead to a healthy, thriving and prosperous community. This family-friendly production includes original and classic holiday carols tinged with gospel, hip-hop, pop and R&B influences to celebrate the spirit of the season the Harlem way.
“A Christmas Carol in Harlem” touches on the issues that are affecting so many New Yorkers today such as gentrification and social inequality but infuses it with humor, hope and holiday spirit. CTH reinvigorates this timeless tale to remind us that we all should celebrate our shared humanity.
The company of “A Christmas Carol in Harlem” includes: Eryn Barnes (as The Ghost of Christmas Past), Reed HarrisButts (as Bennie), Kahlil X Daniel (as The Ghost of Christmas Future), Gabrielle Djenné (as Fan and Belle; The Bacchae), Daniel Echevarria (as Fezz; In The Heights, Something like a Fairytale, The Open Gate), Ure Egbuho (as Sierra Jones; Good Friday, Locked Up Bitches; SCRAPS), Paula Galloway (as Claudette; The Colored Museum, Ain’t Misbehavin’), Steve Greenstein (as Jacob Marley; Flashdance the Musical), Emery Jones (as Tiny Timothia), Kaden Jones (as Child Scrooge and Bennie), Charles Bernard Murray (as Scrooge; The Bacchae), Andrei Pierre (as The Ghost of Christmas Present), Angela Polite (as Clock Shop Lady; MARY SPEAKS, Flambeaux), Jeffrey Rashad (as Bob Cratchit and Young Scrooge), and Kenzie Ross (as Mrs. Cratchit; Blood at the Root, When We Left). The ensemble features dancers from Elisa Monte Dance includingTracy Dunbar, Kat Files, Daniela Funicello, Ashley LaRosa and Sai Rodboon.
“We are on the precipice of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. What a remarkable opportunity to launch into the next century by complementing the existing holiday programming downtown, with a show that has a unique uptown, New York City aesthetic,” said Ty Jones, Classical Theatre of Harlem’s producing artistic director. “I believe that ‘A Christmas Carol in Harlem’ will become a classic, seasonal offering on par with other beloved, locally based holiday productions. Shawn René Graham has taken Dickens’ classic to show how a community is healed, one family at a time and exemplifies how ordinary people can do extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love at Christmas time.”