‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ return from Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House, respectively

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — in my inbox.

And I can’t exactly say I have breaking news — these shows being produced in Cleveland around the holidays is about as expected as the sun coming up — but know that Great Lakes Theater will produce “A Christmas Carol” and the Cleveland Play House “A Christmas Story” in the coming weeks.

Let’s start with the former, the longer of the Cleveland-theater traditions. In fact, this year’s is the 30th-anniversary production of Great Lakes’ “A Christmas Carol.” The adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge was adapted by Gerald Freedman, once the artistic director of what was then the Great Lakes Theater Festival.

GLT-A Christmas Carol
(Illustration courtesy of Great Lakes Theater)

The show runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 23 in the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square.

Says a release from GLT:

Freedman’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” is presented as a story within a story. The fictitious Cleaveland family gathers in its Victorian-era parlor on Christmas Eve to read Mr. Dickens’ book. As Mrs. Cleaveland reads the story to her family, her youngest child, Master William, re-imagines familiar faces as characters in the story: the Cleaveland’s crotchety manservant becomes Scrooge; Father becomes Bob Cratchit; Mother becomes Belle, and the Cleaveland children become the Cratchits, with Master William becoming the beloved Tiny Tim. In all, more than 60 Dickens characters are brought to life on stage.

One more Cleveland-“Carol” nugget:

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this Northeast Ohio holiday tradition, an “A Christmas Carol” Family Reunion will convene during the opening night of this year’s production on Friday, November 30 – celebrating any cast or crew members who may have been part of the production since its inception in 1989.

Get information or tickets — $28 to $75 — here.

While it isn’t based on a story penned in the 1840s, “A Christmas Story” also is a classic to some folks, including many in Northeast Ohio because of Cleveland’s connection to the 1983 movie on which the theater show is based.

So get ready for another serving of Ralphie, his much-desired Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle, the frozen flagpole and, of course, the now-ubiquitous leg lamp.

Says a release from the Cleveland Play House:

Everyone’s favorite characters from Cleveland Street are back for their 11th production with Cleveland Play House during the 2018 holiday season. “A Christmas Story” will once again delight Cleveland audiences with the story you know and love, based on the original motion picture that was filmed in Cleveland. CPH’s production of “A Christmas Story” has quickly become an annual holiday tradition for families of all generations. Each year, these performances attract thousands of new guests to live theater at Cleveland Play House.

Previews begin Nov. 23. with press opening on Nov. 30 at the Allen Theatre in Playhouse Square.

Get info and tickets here.

Mark Meszoros worries that if it’s learned he’s never sat through the movie “A Christmas Story” all the way through that his Cleveland card will be taken away from him, so please don’t tell the proper authorities. Follow him on Twitter @markmeszoros. Top photo courtesy of Cleveland Play House.

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