A CHRISTMAS CAROL Kicks Off with Toy Drive This Friday at 8pm

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on November 23, 2012

Halloween came with a loud howl and Thanksgiving fast on its costume coattails. From Gala to surprise party to running lines and rehearsal for our annual revival of A Christmas Carol (which opens tonight), the Roxy treadmill came to an abrupt stop yesterday, flattened me into a wall and forced me to consume too much tryptophan. But even for that, I am grateful.

I’ve been very thankful that Clarksville has three ladies as mayor — but I’ve been wrong.

Kim McMillan is (of course) our city mayor, Carolyn Bowers our county mayor, and Paige King has held the honor of being “Mayor of Franklin Street.” But that title now needs to be shared with Carla Lavergne, who holds down the east end of Franklin Street at Second with her chic restaurant and bar, Cloud 9, and Linda Shephard, owner of Edward’s, high-end steakhouse and bar holding down the west end of Franklin. Three mayors for one street is unique for any city and fortunate for all of us who have the pleasure, joy and just plain good luck to be living in Clarksville.

I remember a time when the sidewalks were virtually rolled up once the banks closed. Now Franklin Street is returned as the center and heart of Clarksville, which I hope and pray becomes a walking street closed off to traffic, with restaurants offering al fresco lunch and dinner, and perhaps the perfect place for a downtown market, window shopping, or simply an evening stroll. I know our citizens would take advantage of such a unique strip if it were properly maintained and consistent.

Once the turkey is picked apart — and much of the leftovers made into that casserole which is frozen and will be thawed out on some bleak weekday, come mid-February — it is time to begin Christmas proper. And we do, as usual, present that great classic and holiday favorite, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

We brought down the set from its eleven-month-long hiatus, high in the dark back balcony. No worse for wear, it reminded me of many old Met productions: a little tired, but when the human element appears, all things shabby become quite chic. All that glitters is really gold.

The Christmas Carol set is truly recycled. It was the backdrop for Inherit the Wind, depicting the town of Hillsboro and painted by Chip Boles using previous scene flats from The Frog Prince and many other productions requiring small, oddly-shaped flats. We needed to tour the Carol one year when gasoline prices went through the roof and the school board had not budgeted such an increase. So, not missing a beat, we asked Amber Wallace to Christmas-ize it, which she did artfully.

Tonight’s performance is not our usual pay-what-you-can. Instead, a single ticket will be given for each new, unwrapped toy placed under the Roxy’s tree, which will garner toys for our annual toy drive. Tickets go on sale at 7:30pm, and Scrooge takes the stage at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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