Two holiday classics will come alive on stage
Get ready to say “bah humbug” and watch Charlie Brown’s “little Christmas tree” turn into something magical on the same night during Dartmouth High Theatre Company’s upcoming winter production.
The Theatre Company will put on a winter double feature of “A Christmas Carol” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on December 6 and 7.
Shows will begin with the holiday classic focused on Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter wealthy man who hates Christmas — that is, until visits by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future change his ways.
“This show takes us back to the old fashioned traditional Christmas we all grew up with,” said Co-Director Denis Lawrence, Jr.
From there, the audience will be transported to the present, with a musical rendition of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Save for a few added musical numbers and a slight twist, it will be an exact rendition of the classic television cartoon.
“For the most part it’s just like watching the dialog when they show it on CBS, but you get to watch the characters come alive on stage,” Lawrence said.
To pull off two Christmas features in one night, many of Dartmouth High’s actors and actresses take on roles in both productions.
Sophomore Jackson Neves will play Christmas lover Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and the bitter Christmas hater Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.”
“It’s really going to be interesting because they’re polar opposites, and it’s going to be a test for me to convince the audience that one of my characters loves Christmas, and the other one hates Christmas,” Neves said.
Neves has been reviewing both of the moves to study his characters leading up to the show. He can’t wait for two major scenes: The final scene of “A Christmas Carol,” and a scene in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when Linus shares his love for the holiday with his friends.
Sophomore Miguel Pereira takes on the lead role of Charlie Brown, and Bob Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol.”
“It’s an experience because we grew up with all these classic movies and it’s wonderful to actually play [Charlie Brown] on stage,” Pereira said.
Pereira noted he admires the development of Charlie Brown’s character as he discovers his confidence, and Cratchit’s dedication to his family.
“He doesn’t have a lot — he’s paid very little — but when he comes home he makes the most of his situation,” Pereira said.
And there’s also a non-human character: Snoopy, who will be portrayed by senior Ryley Ustinovich. Unlike the Broadway version of the show, however, Snoopy doesn’t speak, meaning Ustinovich has a challenging role.
“This really stays true to the television episode, so I don’t speak,” Ustinovich said. “I have to convey human emotion while still acting like a dog which has been a challenge for me but I like it a lot.”
Ustinovich is excited for the scene in which she gets to sneak on stage and dance on top of the piano as Lucy and Schroeder perform.
Want to see the show? Tickets are on sale now. Visit dhstheatreco.com to buy tickets.
Show dates are December 6 at 7 p.m. and December 7 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. All shows are at the Dartmouth High School Auditorium, 555 Bakerville Rd. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $40 for a four-pack. Group rates are also available.