Front Row Grandfather
Can there be anything more magical that viewing the world through the eyes of a child?
Last night I had the absolute joy of attending the KC Rep's annual production of A Christmas Carol on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC). Accompanying me on that theatrical jaunt were my son and his wife, Tim and Erin, and granddaughter Olive. This was the first live theatre performance for five-year-old Olive.
The production itself was an amazing array of special effects and technical wizardry draped over carefully detailed depictions of foggy Victorian London. The center of the stage revolved, allowing for swift and seamless set changes as well as giving the sense of throngs of people walking London streets amid changing scenery. Two of the ghosts were ten feet tall, obviously with an assist of some sort of stilts, yet they moved about flawlessly and in a most realistic manner. Collectively, the show's visual effects were nothing less than stunning.
The cast was enormous, featuring a varied array of street people who also served as carolers. Many entered and exited the production by running up and down the aisles of the theatre. Every effort was made to enfold members of the audience into the wintry London of Charles Dickens. The performances were all top drawer.
Somehow Tim scored front row center seats, leaving the four of us so close to the action that we were breathing the London fog as it rolled off of the stage. Olive was about five feet in front of Jacob Marley as he rose through the floor of the stage bound in chains and slathered in cadaverous gray make-up. Although I wasn't seated next to her, I did lean forward several times to observe her reactions. My young granddaughter appeared to be enthralled throughout the entire production.
During the intermission I asked Olive how she liked the show. She smiled at me, a bit starry-eyed, and said, "I think it's cool!"
And "cool" it is! Olive and I highly recommend the KC Rep's production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Enjoy it with family this holiday season!