We received complimentary tickets to this show. The opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated for this post.
Though we’ve lived in Austin for almost nine years, our family finally had the chance to see A Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre for the first time this past weekend. We’ve always heard such great things about the production, and we love seeing plays at ZACH, but for some reason we’ve never been able to make it out to see it. Now that we have seen it, I urge you all to make every effort to see A Christmas Carol, not just this year, but every year as a new family tradition. I know we will! The magic of theatre combined with the merriment of the holidays and the modern soundtrack of the Austin production make this one of THE BEST ways to experience the holidays here in Central Texas. Read on to see my full review, and get your tickets to see A Christmas Carol here. It runs through December 29, 2019.
What you need to know about attending A Christmas Carol at Austin’s ZACH Theatre
If you’re interested in attending, here are the key details:
- When does it run? November 20 – December 29, 2019
- Where is it playing? The Topfer at ZACH (202 S. Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704)
- How much are tickets? Tickets start at $25
- Where can I purchase tickets? Tickets are available at the ZACH box office (512-476-0541, ext. 1) or on ZACH’s website
- What are the age recommendations for attending? The recommendation is six and up (it is a bit long and some parts may be scary for kids younger than six, but it is otherwise OK for all ages at your family’s discretion)
- What is the run time? Two hours and twenty minutes, including one twenty-minute intermission
- Is there an accessible show for those with hearing impairments? There is an ASL Interpreted, Audio Described, and Open Captioned show on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
- Where can I learn more? Visit the production’s website here: http://zachtheatre.org/carol
What makes Austin’s production of A Christmas Carol special
Though you are probably familiar with this classic tale by Charles Dickens, you’ve never seen A Christmas Carol like this! Conceived and adapted by Dave Steakley (who also directs), the Victorian setting of the play brings the party like you can only expect in Austin! Contemporary music and dancing mix seamlessly with classic Christmas tunes thanks to Musical Direction by Allen Robertson and the choreography of Jen Young Mahlstedt and Christa Oliver. The team managed to keep the heartwarming spirit of the original story throughout while jazzing things up through song in a production befitting the Live Music Capital of the World.
The sets, costumes, and lighting were fantastic, as we can always expect from the talented teams at ZACH Theatre. The kids were especially dazzled by the lights (and disco balls!).
Austin’s A Christmas Carol stars Marc Pouhé as Scrooge, and features several other talented actors, like Michael Valentine, Roderick Sanford, Paul Sanchez, Kenny Williams, Jr., Sara Burke (who we’ve had the pleasure of seeing in several plays at ZACH), and Tony-nominated Mary Bridget Davies (who will star in ZACH’s upcoming A Night with Janis Joplin). The leads and supporting cast were all wonderful, but the incredible singing voices of Roderick Sanford (who played several roles, including Marley and the Reverend, with both great vocal and acting range), Kenny Williams, Jr. (who’s part as Ghost of Christmas Past was one of the most entertaining performances of the show), Mary Bridget Davies (this woman can WAIL! – can’t wait to see her as Janis Joplin), and Paul Sanchez (who moved us to tears with his soulful Bob Cratchit) stood out. Marc Pouhé’s Scrooge was powerfully convincing and poignant as we follow his character’s journey from jaded to jolly. I don’t think an adult left the theatre without feeling the important message about what really matters, during the holidays and always: kindness and love; a message that is perhaps even more relevant in 2019 than when Dickens first told it in 1843.
A Christmas Carol at ZACH had everything you could possibly need from a holiday production, from laughter, to tears, to disco balls, to Avicii. Young and old in attendance (including the four members of the #FabFam) were kept enthralled during and left with hearts warmed.
How to enhance your family’s experience for A Christmas Carol in Austin
In our experience, seeing a play at ZACH always includes some interactive ways to engage with the story or show, whether it’s arts and crafts for kids in the lobby, a live musician before the show, photo booths, or themed cocktails. A Christmas Carol is no exception, and even includes an option to interact during the show!
One interactive offering at ZACH Theatre for A Christmas Carol is to participate in a family-friendly, immersive-theatre experience by purchasing a light stick. There are moments throughout the show when audience members can turn on a light stick and dance with the music. Light sticks can be purchased at the Topfer Gift Shop, and their cost supports opportunities for under-served children to experience the arts through ZACH’s educational programs.
The show also features some specialty cocktails at the Topfer Bars (in addition to other cocktails, wine, sodas, water, coffee, tea, and snacks). We tried these two themed cocktails, which were both delicious:
- Bah-Rum-Bug: Ghirardelli White Hot Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Infused Spiced Rum
- Fezziwig Cider: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Maple-Cinnamon Simple Syrup, Mulled Apple Cider, Ginger Beer
Pro Tip: Be sure to order your intermission drinks before the show to avoid a wait!
Make sure you catch A Christmas Carol this season before it closes on 12/29/19! Get your tickets here.