It is truly unfortunate that "The Christmas Carol" at the Warner Grand Theater has only two more performances scheduled this Christmas season.
"The Christmas Carol" is produced and performed by The Relevant Stage Theatre Company.
If you don't take in the performance on Saturday December 6, after the San Pedro Christmas Parade concludes or at 2:00 PM on Sunday December 7, you will have to wait until next December to see it. And see it you must!
The work is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and it was recreated to include some very remarkable carols and dance numbers by Mr. Ray Buffer.
Ray took the most important parts and characters from the classic Dickens piece and added a wonderful group of carolers and Christmas music to enhance the entire piece.
The music and carols included fit tightly into the work and it seemed like "The Christmas Carol" is the best reinterpretation of the story of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and four ghosts.
The production of the piece allowed for complete use of the large stage at the Warner Grand and the simple set pieces added to providing what someone said was a "warm" setting.
The carolers were a collection of very good singers who were found to be completely entertaining as they were accompanied by pre-recorded music that was well produced.
The singers wore individual microphones and the problems at other shows where there were issues of being able to hear lyrics and words onstage, have all been fixed.
Mr. Rusty Vance played the part of Scrooge and he should be required to play the part again next December.
There were also some dance pieces in the performance. Terri enjoyed them as did the rest of the audience but since I am not one who should comment on dancing, I'll leave it with Terri who provided her comments to me that she found the dance numbers enjoyable.
I liked how the Christmas carols were selected to fit into the story at the correct places in the story. Ray's selection of the particular numbers made it feel like the music naturally blended into the story. Charles Dickens didn't write "A Christmas Carol" to contain musical numbers or hymns, but the ones Ray added were just the ones needed to make the whole piece appear as if it had been written as a musical piece originally.
Mr. Buffer needs to find a way to provide more performances of "The Christmas Carol" next December so more folks will be provided greater opportunity to see it.
As I walked into the lobby at intermission, the word 'towny' came to me to try and describe the particular piece at the particular theater in this particular town.
I found "The Christmas Carol" to be the perfect fit at the Warner Grand Theater, especially as it is in San Pedro.
Many of us still consider San Pedro to be a small community in many respects and this production of "The Christmas Carol" really fits into the community.
Mr. Buffer told me that over 500 students were brought to the Warner Grand on Thursday to watch a performance and he said that the audience for that performance enjoyed the production very much.
With the size of the cast and the set, I don't imagine "The Christmas Carol" could be produced at the Little Fish Theatre Company's stage. I continue to contend there is plenty of room in the community for two different theater companies and I hope The Relevant Stage Theatre Company and the Little Fish Theatre Company can work better together to make San Pedro much more theater friendly than it already is.
The next production by The Relevant Stage Theatre Company will be the off-Broadway classic, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change".
Performances are scheduled for February 13-15 and February 20-22, 2009.
Ray Buffer needs to find a way to add performances of "The Christmas Carol" to the December 2009 calendar. Having it performed only on December 5 and 6, 2009 will not afford enough folks the opportunity to see this wonderful production and that would be very sad for the community.