Twin Beach Players’ The Ghost Before Christmas
By Susan Nolan
Victorian London, ghostly midnight visits, and a heart forever changed just in time for Christmas. Most of us immediately recognize the plot of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. But did you know Dickens penned other holiday tales featuring ghosts?
One such overlooked novella is The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, A Fancy for Christmas-Time, published in 1848. Commonly known as The Haunted Man, the story revolves around Pericles Redlaw, an unmarried professor who is haunted by both a literal ghost and the specter of his own regret and sorrow. One night he is visited by a ghost that offers Redlaw, and all whom he encounters, the ability to forget all heartache. He accepts, but in doing so, condemns himself and others to also forget the values of compassion and forgiveness.
Calvert County playwright Rick Thompson has adapted The Haunted Man for the Twin Beach Player’s current stage production of The Ghost Before Christmas.
Under the direction of Sid Curl, William Righter shines as the tormented Redlaw, a man dominated by memories of his life’s disappointments and tragedies. Alexys Adams delivers a graceful, mature performance as The Phantom. Aidan Davis and Katie Evans, as the quarrelsome Andrew and Sophia Tetterby, provide comedic relief with in-step timing and passionate delivery.
Terri McKinstry gives a standout performance as the benevolent Mrs. William whose goodness has the power to restore humanity. Robert Sebo and Robert Rausch are endearing as her husband and his elderly father. Sixth-grader Charlie Villafaña makes his stage debut as the child who is impervious to the “gift.” The Twin Beach Players’ many young performers serve as Victorian townspeople who serenade the audience with carols between scenes.
If you are in the mood for a seasonal heart-warming story, true to the spirit of Dickens, this production runs through Dec. 12. (FSa 7pm, Su 3pm). With a two-hour run-time, this production may not be for suitable for those with short attention spans. Shows performed at the Boys and Girls Club, 9021 Dayton Ave., Chesapeake Beach. Tickets: twinbeachplayers.com.