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“Christmas Carol” Fan Lambastes Review

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I feel compelled to add to the others who thought your review of Theatre IV's delightful production of “A Christmas Carol” totally off base (“Bah Humbug!” Arts & Culture, Dec. 16). The review deserves a bah humbug, not the production. I have been an avid theatergoer for 70 years in Richmond, Washington, New York and elsewhere. I have a master of fine arts degree in theater from Columbia University and taught drama for 19 years. I have directed more than 40 productions and acted in twice as many.

First, I give my friend Chase Kniffen full credit for bringing his gifted talents to staging so beautifully this production. There was not a weak performance to be seen; Chase would not allow it. Joe Inscoe is one of the finest local actors we have and delivered another of his brilliant performances. I have no idea what your comment about it being “too brittle” — what does that mean? Nothing is what it means! Twice you used sentimental as a negative factor. What is the tradition of “The Christmas Carol” if it isn't sentimental? Christmas is sentimental and there's nothing wrong with that. “Watching a small cute animal struggle for its life”? Please, lady! Get a life!

You made no mention whatever of the sets, costumes, lighting and overall beauty and skill in which they were utilized. I could elaborate endlessly about individual performances such as Christopher Stewart's contrast in playing two entirely different roles, both expertly. Let me close by saying that as much as I enjoyed the production, “A Christmas Carol” has never been one of my favorite stories, films or theater pieces. I have seen many, many versions of it over the years. This ranks as one of my favorites for many reasons. It was obviously wasted on you.

Vaughan Gary
Richmond

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