'A Christmas Carol'
Graphic illustration by Dan Talsky, daniel.talsky@journaltimes.com, using photos courtesy of Racine Theatre Guild

This holiday season, Lauren Lamoreaux and her three daughters — Abigail, 16, Miriam, 12, and Rebekah, 10 — are feeling the spirit of Christmas onstage at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave.

All four are in the ensemble cast of the RTG’s production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” which opens Friday, Dec. 1, and runs through Dec. 17. And, for this family of performers, Charles Dickens’ time-honored tale of charity, universal love and redemption is one they are happy to help tell.

Lamoreaux, who has been involved in theater both here and in the Detroit area for years, said she appreciates the show’s overall theme of acceptance. Its Christmas message is one that includes everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, she said.

“It talks more about love and kindness, and things like the need to feed the children,” she said. “This was not a ‘bucket list’ show for me, but once I got to know it, I found I love this show!”

Growing together

She’s also glad to be able to share the experience with her daughters. Having recently moved her family to Kenosha, Lamoreaux said being in “A Christmas Carol” has been a great way for them to spend more time together, and to “grow together more.”

All three girls have sung in their school choirs and are musically talented, she said, and “We all love theater — it’s in our blood.”

The “fearsome foursome,” as they call themselves, began working together on shows back when Abigail was at McKinley Middle School. And since then, Mom has done RTG shows with both Abigail (“Mary Poppins”) and Miriam (“The Bridge to Terabithia”). “A Christmas Carol” marks the first time that Rebekah will join them on the Theatre Guild stage, and she is excited to be there. She plays a couple different roles, within the ensemble — one of which Rebekah said calls for her to be a little “scary,” while the other is more child-like.

The two roles, Rebekah said, “Allow me to express both sides of myself.”

Abigail, who plays Scrooge’s sister, Fan, said her character is a loving person who “wants what’s best for people.” The teen also said she appreciates the “awesome imagery” Dickens used in writing the story, and the way “A Christmas Carol” mixes ghost stories with more traditional themes.

“It’s just really cool,” Abigail said.

A musical story

“A Christmas Carol” is a story that continues to touch hearts of all ages, long after Dickens wrote it in 1843. And the RTG’s current, musical telling of the tale features the music of Alan Menken, who also composed the music for “Beauty and the Beast,” according to Doug Instenes, managing/artistic director of the RTG.

Menken’s songs are something that sets this show apart from the stage show “Scrooge,” which also tells Dickens’ popular Christmas story, and which the RTG presented in its 2005-2007 seasons, Instenes said.

“This show is really quite different than “Scrooge,” he said. “There’s more music than dialogue and what dialogue there is, is secondary to the beautiful songs.”

Even the show’s miserly main character, Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Bob Benson), sings a couple “really great songs,” that express his feelings about forgiveness and the importance of having a second chance, Instenes said.

“I don’t know what it is about this show that seems to touch everybody,” he said. “I think it’s because we all have a little bit of Scrooge in us — we are all a little crabby and impatient, and need forgiveness from time to time. Maybe that’s the reason we love this story, because it allows us to make amends to the people we’ve wronged in our lives.”

Room for kindness

“A Christmas Carol” is a great show for families to enjoy together, Instenes said.

“It speaks to everybody, because no matter what background you come from, there’s always a way you can treat someone a little better, with more kindness.”

The rest of the show’s 38 cast members include Jenna Zeihen, as the Ghost of Christmas Past; Davidson Kane, as the Ghost of Christmas Present; Barbi McGuire as the Ghost of Christmas Future; Philip Evreniadis as Marley; Peter Jones as Bob Cratchit: Ellie Hammond as Mrs. Cratchit; Leah Starks as Tiny Tim; Bella Niederer, Isabel Young and Charlie Cimbalnik as the rest of the Cratchit children; Frank Russ as Mr. Fezziwig; Lauren Haumersen as Mrs. Fezziwig; Zoe Gosey as Emily; Zachariah Preiwisch as Fred; and Meghan Flynn as Sally.

Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, with additional shows scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students.

Go to www.racinetheatre.org or call 262-633-4218 for tickets and other information.

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Features Reporter

Lee Roberts is the features writer for The Journal Times, covering a wide range of subjects, from the local arts scene to profiles of interesting people and places in our community. She is also a part-time page editor.

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