A Christmas Carol @ McCarter Theatre

By Charles Dickens, Adapted by David Thompson

Choreograpy by Rob Ashford, Original words and music by Michael Starobin, Set Design by Ming Cho Lee, Costume Design by Jess Goldstein, Lighting Design by Stephen Strawbridge, Sound Design by Brian Ronan, Production Stage Manager – Cheryl Mintz, Resident Producer – Mara Isaacs, Managing Director – Tim Shields, Artistic Director – Emily Mann

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

(Video and Reviews Below Slideshow)

An amazing shot of our amazing 2011 ensemble! Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Tiny Tim (Noah Hinsdale) in the snowing London streets
The Cratchit family (Noah Hinsdale, Jake Urban, Janet Metz and Hope Springer) gaze at the tree.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) knocks down the tree on his way to work.
Nephew Fred (Jimmy Ludwig) tells Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) to open his heart as Bob Cratchit (Jon Crombie) and Lily (Stephanie Umoh) gaze from below.
Tiny Tim (Noah Hinsdale) and Bob Cratchit (Jon Crombie) on their way home on Christmas Eve.
The Solicitors (Piper Goodeve and Michele Tauber) ask Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) to donate to their cause.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) berates two Beggar Children (Tom Roderiguez and Cara Barkenbush).
Jacob Marley inhabits Scrooge's door knocker.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) enters his cold, dank bedroom.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) is surprised to find Mrs. Dilber (Pippa Pearthree).
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) hears voices.
Marley (Justin Blanchard) finally appears to Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm).
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) hears the voice of the spectre of Jacob Marley (Justin Blanchard).
The Spirits of Christmas Past (Annika Goldman and Ileena Irving) start Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) on his journey.
Fan (Piper Goodeve) gives the gift of a music box to Boy Scrooge (Danny Hallowell) while Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) looks on.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) observes Jacob Marley (Justin Blanchard) speaking with his younger self (Chris Dunlop).
Mr. Fezziwig (Bill Buell) and Mrs. Fezziwig (Michele Tauber) inspect their employees as Christmas Past (Annika Goldman) and Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) observe.
Mrs. Fezziwig (Michele Tauber) welcomes Young Marley (Justin Blanchard) and Young Scrooge (Chris Dunlop) into her heart as Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm), Mr. Fezziwig (Bill Buell) and Christmas Past (Annika Goldman) observe.
Mrs. Fezziwig (Michele Tauber) and Charlotte Fezziwig (Rachel Baker) make quite a pair.
The Fezziwigs (Rachel Baker, Bill Buell and Michele Tauber) annouce that the party is about to begin.
The Fezziwig Party.
Belle (Stephanie Umoh) and Young Scrooge (Chris Dunlop) are about to kiss during the Fezziwig Party. Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) and Christmas Past (Annika Goldman) observe from above.
Belle (Stephanie Umoh) says goodbye to Young Scrooge forever.
The Spirits of Christmas Past (Annika Goldman, Ileena Irving and Camryn MacAliffe) offer Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) one last chance to see his siter, Fan (Piper Goodeve).
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) starts his journey towards the Spirit of Christmas Present.
The Spirit of Christmas Present (Cherise Boothe) stops Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) in his tracks.
Mrs. Cratchit (Janet Metz) teaches Belida (Hope Springer) how to make the pudding.
The Cratchit family (Janet Metz, Elsa Rodriguez, Noah Hinsdale, Jon Crombie, Hope Springer and Jake Urban).
The Cratchit family (Janet Metz, Elsa Rodriguez, Noah Hinsdale, Jon Crombie, Hope Springer and Jake Urban).
Bob Cratchit (Jon Crombie) and Grace Cratchit (Janet Metz) consider Tiny Tim's condition.
The Cratchit family (Jonathan Crombie, Jake Urban, Hope Springer, Janet Metz, Elsa Rodriguez and Noah Hinsdale) makes a toast.
Fred (Jimmy Ludwig) and Lily (Stephanie Umoh) make a toast.
Christmas Present (Cherise Boothe) shows Ignorance and Want (Tommy Rodriguez and Cara Barkenbush) to Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm).
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) meets the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) is shown the Cratchit family (Janet Metz, Hope Springer, Jake Urban and Elsa Rodriguez) after Tiny Tim has died by the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come.
Mrs Dilber (Pippa Pearthree) sells the music box to Old Joe (Bill Buell) as The Laundress (Michele Tauber) and The Undertaker (Jimmy Ludwig) enviously observe.
The Child Carollers sing in front of Scrooge's house.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) sees his name etched by flames into his tombstone.
The Cratchit Family (Noah Hinsdale, Elsa Rodriguez, Jake Urban, Hope Springer and Jon Crombie) receive Scrooge's gift delivered by the Turkey Boy (Matt Kuenne).
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) offers more gifts to the Cratchit Family (Elsa Rodriguez, Jake Urban, Hope Springer, Janet Metz and Jon Crombie) as Fred (Jimmy Ludwig) and Lily (Stephanie Umoh) observe.
Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) offers the gift of the music to Tiny Tim (Noah Hinsdale).
The final embrace of Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) and Tiny Tim (Noah Hinsdale).
Tiny Tim (Noah Hinsdale) and Scrooge (Graeme Malcolm) walk off together.
The 2010 "A Christmas Carol" company.
From 2001: The Spirits of Christmas Past (Kristi Flynn and Daryl Rothman) take Scrooge (John Christopher Jones) back to observe his sister, Fan (Janet Metz) and himself as a young boy (Kyle Moore).
2000 Chris Jones in front of the Scrooge facade
Adapter, David (Tommy) Thompson and Director, Michael Unger.
The director (Michael Unger) and his kids at the book signing with Adapter David (Tommy) Thompson.
Another favorite set piece - the Scrooge Facade - designed by Ming Cho Lee.
Michael Unger directing the Young Ensemble.
Michael Unger directing the Young Ensemble.
Director, Michael Unger
A favorite set piece - Scrooge's bedroom - designed by Ming Cho Lee.
Director, Michael Unger, with the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come.
The main set pieces - designed by Ming Cho Lee.
From 2006 - Cherise Booth and Paul Benedict
From 2006 - Paul Benedict, Simon Kendall and Annie O'Sullivan
Director, Michael Unger and Production Stage Manager, Cherly Mintz
Director, Michael Unger on the Office set - designed by Ming Cho Lee
Director, Michael Unger, ready to try Flying by Foy
Director, Michael Unger (upside down) and Foy representative, Perry Fertig
Director, Michael Unger (flying) and Foy representative, Perry Fertig
In 2003 - Adapter, Tommy Thompson, speaking to the cast and director, Michael Unger (in baseball cap)
2000 With Ming Cho Lee and Betsy Lee during technical rehearsals
2000 Ming Cho Lee on his set
2000 With Ming Cho Lee on his set
2000 The set loading in for the first time
Early in the set design process with Ming Cho Lee at his studio
2000 With the model in Ming Cho Lee's studio
In Ming's studio with David York (Production Manager), Ming, Emily Mann (Artistic Director) and Mara Isaacs (Resident Producer)
2000 With Ming Cho Lee in his studio
Ming Cho Lee showing Emily Mann (Artistic Director) how the set moves
Ming Cho Lee showing Emily Mann (Artistic Director) how the set moves
Ming Cho Lee with the model

A crackling production. Richly re-imagined. A Must-See.

With apologies to Ben Franklin, perhaps there are actually three things in life of which we can be certain: death, taxes — and the annual excellence of the McCarter Theatre Center’s “A Christmas Carol.” Once again, director Michael Unger has done an exemplary job with the Charles Dickens chestnut. Each year, this production retains its crown as the most handsome one that the state sees all year. That’s the McCarter “A Christmas Carol.” It gives audience members twice as much as they expected.


McCarter has not rested on its past success, however. Those who know productions of seasons gone by will find familiar and new delights in the current offering. This is Michael Unger’s 13th season as director, and he’s getting more out of the show every time. This is an exciting, funny, uplifting show that never fails to please. Some may think it’s old hat. After all, Dickens wrote for a people who valued hyper-sentimentality, which today seems embarrassing. Never mind that; I defy you to hold back the waterworks when Tiny Tim and a transformed Scrooge embrace in the final scene. Go ahead and admit it: You’re bringing the kids to see McCarter’s Christmas Carol this year, but really it’s you who wants to see it all over again.


A local institution, the beloved holiday production has lost none of its joyful, moving magic. For a whole legion of folks in Mercer County and beyond, the definitive version of Charles Dickens’s immortal holiday ghost story is McCarter Theatre Center’s “A Christmas Carol.”
A tradition for families, friends and lovers of grand spectacle, “A Christmas Carol” at McCarter is both an extraordinary production and a magical social event, creating a sense of cheerful unity the moment the spotlight first hits that Christmas tree at center stage. Following a 2000 revision and the introduction of new director Michael Unger, Thompson’s adaptation remains the “Carol” people mark their calendars to see. And it’s a fine, powerful strummer of the heartstrings, too. Viewers are reduced to mush and the water works begin. It’s a deeply, remarkably moving way to close the story, and it trumps the conclusions of many a “Carol” incarnation. Merry, bright and bursting with joy, it’s a local institution, and the perfect way to celebrate the season.


There is so much to recommend about the current McCarter production that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Veteran director Michael Unger returns annually to take charge, thus keeping quality high and the perspective consistent. In these uncertain times, it’s nice to know that McCarter’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” can still provide dependable entertainment for audiences of all ages.

A Christmas Carol is grand entertainment at The McCarter Theatre.
This is a marvelous, joyous production that is presented on a grand scale. All elements are impressive…. great cast, eye-popping sets, clever staging and beautiful costumes. Children… were as delighted and amused by the glorious production as the adults. This vehicle is a rarity since it entertains all age groups.

“Once again, the annual production is warmer than a thick-logged fireplace in a happy home. The production’s two hours speed by, yet take the time to be wonderfully moving …excellent special effects.. sensitive direction…”A Christmas Carol” remains the most opulent show New Jersey sees all year.

“This is an evening that soars from the first moments… sensitive direction… fresh and emotionally charged… it has the size and feel of the best Broadway family musicals. The current staging will sweep you into the Christmas season, leave you gasping in admiration and on your feet cheering. When is some other regional theater in the area going to discover the magic that Unger exudes?”

Where, I asked myself, does Unger hide his magic wand? He must have one. Every year, what he brings to his grateful audiences of all ages is another memorable occasion.”