The Friday after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Black Friday, is a holiday in and of itself for many. It marks a day of retail shopping frenzy as well as the beginning of the Christmas season. This Black Friday, Columbus will kick off the Christmas season with the opening performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is set to perform during Thanksgiving weekend at Ohio Theatre with Columbus native Brent Burington playing the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Published in 1843, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge has since been used for public readings, performed on stage and adapted into movies. Burington said the story has a timeless nature because of its relatable character development as well as its adaptability.
“Everyone finds themselves in a Scrooge mood or has known someone who has sort of lost that Christmas spirit,” Burington said. “It is not at all outside the realm of possibility.”
Third-year in biomedical engineering, Rachel Freese, said although she has never seen a visual adaptation of the story, she understands from reading the book why it is so popular.
“It’s a feel-good story at the end, because you see the transformation of a character and I think audiences like that a lot,” Freese said.
Burington said the relatable aspect of his character is one of the reasons he loves this production. He was exposed to writers such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens at a young age nand said he grew up with the story of “A Christmas Carol.”
“My favorite thing about doing Scrooge is his journey on stage,” Burington said. “He goes from being so despicable to this guy who is so different; maybe a little odd, but everyone wants to be around him and that is so fantastic.”
Burington, who has been playing Scrooge for more than 22 years in his own one-man production of “A Christmas Carol,” said this version of the tale was different enough to draw his attention. Burlington wrote and performed his own version prior to touring with The Nebraska Theatre Caravan because he was dissatisfied with most adaptations of the story he had seen.
One of the reasons he enjoys working with The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is the musical component, Burington said. The show features traditional English carols that range from well-known songs such as “Away in a Manger” to lesser-known carols such as “The Boar’s Head.”
“They’re songs that not all American audiences may know,” Burington said. “It’s a wonderful experience to hear these new, different traditional songs you get to learn.”
Although Katelyn Matuska, a fourth-year in political science and women’s studies, has not seen a staged production of “A Christmas Carol,” she enjoys the story.
“I saw a movie version when I was a kid,” said Katelyn Matuska, a fourth-year in political science and women’s studies. “I think it’s a cute story and I’d still be interested in seeing the play.”
The show is slated to open at the Ohio Theatre Friday at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $22-$32 and are available at the CAPA Ticket Center and Ticketmaster.