In 1996 James A. Rocco (Producing Artistic Director of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts) helmed the premiere of a “wake up and smell the coffee overhaul of a Dickens classic” (Oklahoma Gazette) at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL by Ron Kaehler (Executive Story Editor at Abrams/Gentile Entertainment for TV’s Van-Pires) and Albert Evans ( Pageant, Nite Club Confidential, 5th Avenue Theatre Artistic Associate) was immediately snapped up by Dramatic Publishing and Walter Bobbie presented it in New York for the Broadway USA Series of Great New American Musicals. Since then, the show has enjoyed radio productions, school productions, as well as full scale productions around the US. This year a major resurgence of interest has begun—with 10 productions planned, the show is once again proving to be “ideal family holiday fare, hilarious and genuinely moving.” (Canton Theater News)
The show takes this beloved story out of Victorian England and plops it smack down in America’s heartland — a little place called Marley County, where folks don’t have a whole lot but everybody’s doing what they can to make the Christmas holiday crackle. Except for one miserly old coot who somehow misses the whole point…
Dusted off and gussied up with a fantastic country-western score bursting with “songs that get the toes tapping or touch the heart.” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune) A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL introduces us to Bobbie Jo Cratchit, a young widow who sings like Patsy Cline and lives in a trailer community with her two small children. She also works at the bank for a certain Eb Scrooge, and therein lies our tale of redemption and reunion, community and family — filled with a feisty bunch of characters who deal head-on with life’s joys and heartaches.
You can find out more about A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL and hear a song sampler at www.acountrychristmascarol.com. Perhaps a production is happening in your city. Mainstreet Musicals, the brainchild of Timothy Jerome (CATS, and countless Broadway shows) is sponsoring readings in Cleveland, Bowling Green/Toledo, St. Louis, Dallas, Seattle and Montreal.
And in Seattle, Seattle Equity Actors, Mainstreet Musicals and the Balagan Theatre are presenting a concert performance of A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS Carol Tonight, December 10th, at 7:30 PM BALAGAN THEATRE 1524, Harvard Avenue, Seattle, Washington (located in the Erickson Theatre, on the Seattle Central Community College campus on Capitol Hill).
It will star: SEAN GRIFFIN (The Seafarer), Kendra Kassebaum (Wicked, Leap of Faith), Bobbi Kotula, JARED Michael Brown, Jessica Skerritt, Keaton Whittaker (A Little Night Music), JOSH FEINSILVER, BOB DeDEA, ERIC HAGREEN, and Karen Skrinde with direction by Allen Fitzpatrick (Driving Miss Daisy, Memphis), MUSICAL DIRECTION BY Albert Evans (Pageant, Nite Club Confidential, Yankee Doodle), ASSOCIATE MUSIC DIRECTOR, CHRIS DiSTEFANO.
A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL is now available to community theaters, schools, churches and professional organizations across the globe. Amateur licensing is handled by Dramatic Publishing and Professional stage rights are controlled by www.acountrychristmascarol.com.
Albert Evans Mr. Evans wrote the music for the off-Broadway hit Pageant, chosen by TIME magazine as one of the Year's 10 Best. Other New York shows include The Texas Chainsaw Musical and the cult favorite Nite Club Confidential. As composer-in-residence at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, he wrote lyrics for Mikado Inc. and music for Great Expectations, Jane Eyre and A Tale of Two Cities. Evans also wrote the lyrics for New York City Opera's new performing version of The Merry Widow, broadcast on Live from Lincoln Center (PBS). With writer Ron Kaehler, he reimagined a Christmas classic as the Dickens-goes-Nashville fantasy A Country Christmas Carol. Since 2000, he and Kaehler have adapted favorite children's stories for the traveling musical revue Story Salad. In 2003, New York Fringe Festival audiences heard his lyrics in composer Edmund Cionek's Tri-Sci-Fi. Evans reworked the song catalogue of George M. Cohan (and added a few songs Cohan forgot to write) for the stage musical biography Yankee Doodle Dandy. Recently, Evans and Jamie Rocco wrote the outrageous '70s revue Streakin'!, which premiered at Manhattan's Babalu Theater. Albert Evans is currently Artistic and Music Associate at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.