'A Coal Country Christmas Carol' comes to Jim Thorpe
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Laden with the chains of his own making, the ghost of Jacob Marley, played by Dave Holmes, confronts his one-time business partner Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Bill Lance, during rehearsal for the play "A Coal Country Christmas Carol," which will be presented at the Mauch Chunk Opera House over the next two Saturdays.
The Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe, will be the scene of the presentation of a new musical adaption of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for four daytime shows over the next two Saturdays.
The title of this presentation is "A Coal Country Christmas Carol," which was written and will be directed by Jim Thorpe playwright Joe Hiatt.
Show times are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 10.
The show is a production of Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce's Olde Time Christmas. According to organizer Helen Van Pelt, this is their first time doing a play for Christmas and they hope to continue every year with a play as part of the celebration.
The play, which will be performed in the format of an old-time radio show, where actors speak their parts at a microphone, features both original and classic Christmas carols played by "Free Range Folk," a mountain string ensemble.
They will also accompany the March of the Breaker Boys and the Dance of the Silk Mill Girls.
Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim and all of the original characters of this must-see Christmas tradition are transported to the coal region of Pennsylvania in the 19th century.
"A Christmas Carol" is a timeless tale of a lonely miser who is visited by four ghosts one Christmas Eve who offer him a second chance to become a kind and generous human being.
It's a heartwarming story of redemption and forgiveness that captures the true spirit, magic, and musical memories of the holiday season.
"I knew I could never improve on such a wonderful story," said Hiatt. "What could I do, however, was take what inspired me about Dickens' Christmas treasure and combine it with some of the most compelling types of people who once lived in the Pennsylvania coal region."
He has created an original story that is both an homage to Dickens and a celebration of some of our country's own characters such as coal barons, breaker boys, silk mill girls, and the like.
Reportedly, English author Charles Dickens, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period, actually visited Mauch Chunk in the 19th century during a nationwide book tour.
Tickets can be purchased before each show at the Mauch Chunk Opera House and also at Sound Check Records, located at 23 Broadway.
A portion of the proceeds from the play, which is expected to run about 80 minutes, will be going to charity.