The Theatre Palisades Actors’ Troupe presented a Zoom edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on December 16.
Annually the TPAT presents a radio play at Christmas for residents of Pacific Palisades. This year, more than 118 people registered to watch the 14 actors share the Zoom screen.
As each actor voiced their role, they were surrounded by an eerie London night skyline background. Playing Scrooge was long-time resident Manfred Hofer, who has performed in numerous TP productions over the years. What a talented actor! Those who know Manfred, know he’s absolutely unassuming and a nice man, so to see him so accurately portray the mean-spirited Mr. Scrooge was highly entertaining.
The actors were well cast and, as always, long-time director Sherman Wayne to got the best from each of his performers. Although this was a “radio” play, each actor was costumed, which helped enhance the Zoom presentation.
Martha Hunter provided sound effects that created an effective atmosphere and helped the production flow. The challenge of the first Zoom broadcast was aided by the digital expertise of Holly Sidell, Mitch Feinstein, Charmain Glennon and Jolene Kay.
Actors, in addition to Hofer, who helped voice the entertaining hour were Phil Bartolf, Yvonne Robertson, Robert Grochau, Laura Goldstein, Barry and Mary Allwright, Glennon, Valerie Ruel, Sidell, Nancy Hullihan, Maria O’Connor, Wendy Taubin, and Feinstein.
Growing up in South Dakota without a television, I listened with my parents and siblings to many radio shows. I loved the drama and the sound effects — and this production of “Christmas Carol” brought back those days in the living room in front of a large radio.
It seems that Zoom could provide the perfect vehicle to “dust off” other radio plays and present them at Theatre Palisades until in-person theater can return.
After the successful production of “Christmas Carol,” TP leaders wrote, “We look forward to offering more online presentations in the future like this one. While Zoom presentations have become a necessity because of the Covid crisis, this exciting form may well continue to be a new way of presenting theatre on a permanent basis.”
Circling the News urges them to carry through with this plan—while not live theater, it is absolutely nice to see “live” entertainment.