Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010

A Tale Of Two Dickens

Two different Dickens One Man Shows this coming December

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Though he wrote numerous bits of prose that weren’t  A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens seems to be fused with the holiday season in American popular culture. It’s not that difficult to imagine a point in the future where one might expect parents to be taking their children to sit on Dickens’ lap every December so that they might tell him what they want for Christmas.

And why not elevate Dickens to the same kind of post-modern totem that we have reserved for Frosty, Rudolph and the big guy in the red suit? Dickens’ consciousness of the plight of the poor is extremely important to be reminded of during a time of year when Americans spend ridiculous sums of money getting each other meaningless trinkets while some families struggle just to make ends meet.

This coming December, there are no less than two opportunities to see actors portraying Dickens onstage in the general vicinity of Milwaukee. Here’s a look:

 

December 3rd – 5th Talented actor James Ridge brings his acclaimed and highly entertaining performance of Dickens In America to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan. Written by playwright/author/actor James DeVita and originally directed by C. Michael Wright for a Milwaukee Chamber Theatre production some time ago, this is one of those one-man shows that is so gripping that it can make one forget that they’ve been listening to one guy talk for over an hour. It’s based on performances Dickens made in an actual tour of the U.S. in late 1867.

Tickets for James Ridge in Dickens In America can be purchased by calling 920-458-6144 or by visiting the Kohler Arts Center online.

6:30 -8:30 pm, December 12th One week after Dickens vanishes from Sheboygan, he reappears in Milwaukee as if by magic . . . in the form of an entirely different actor in an entirely different show as In Tandem Theatre welcomes Stephen Parr in Dickens and Desserts. Parr performs in character as Dickens as he reads the short story, Dr. Marigold’s Prescription. The performance, in the intimate space of the Tenth Street Theatre is preceded by Victorian-style carollers and followed by the aforementioned sweets. The one night only show will help to raise funds for the In Tandem Theatre.

 


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