Encore Michigan

Tipping Point’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ surprises and delights

Review December 08, 2021 David Kiley

NORTHVILLE, MI – Patrick Barlow, the creative mind behind The 39 Steps stage play, took on Scrooge and has freshened up the classic story without abandoning what makes it timeless.

Tipping Point has done more than justice to Dickens in its staging of the play, with John Seibert inhabiting the role of Scrooge. He is flanked by four excellent chameleon actors who play multiple roles around Seibert, along with some very effective puppetry to handle ghostly duties in getting Scrooge to a point or redemption.

Seibert’s Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is a refreshing, modern take – less a lugubrious Victorian sad old man and instead conveying the personality of a bad boss from the Horrible Bosses movies. It works nicely to freshen up the energy of the story.

Like with The 39 Steps, Barlow employs four players to play multiple roles – Alexis Primus, Ryan Bernier, Katy Tye and Adam Graber, which they do with great aplomb and delivery. The puppets, inhabited by the players when they aren’t also playing Cratchit and family, the charity men, Belle, Fan, Scrooge’s nephew, lad who fetches the turkey that is as big as him, the char lady, etc., to play the ghosts is the biggest single change Scrooge enthusiasts will notice and either approve or disapprove of. I definitely approve.

Michelle LeRoy and Natalie McCabe built the puppets, and have done a wonderful job of investing a true ethereal quality into the spirits that adds to the timelessness of the Dickens piece rather than rooting it so firmly in Victorian times. Likewise, Monica Essen on set and props and Vince Kelley on costumes, as well as Director James Kuhl, create an atmosphere in the performance space that gives the whole production a modern story-book, a pop-up book, feel.

Neil Koivu is the artist responsible for lighting and Kennikki Jones is the artist who handles sound on this production. Michael Ricks is Technical Director.

There are lots of interpretations of Scrooge floating around this month. Tipping Point’s A Christmas Carol will remind you why it’s a great story to refresh one’s spirit leading up to every 25th of December.

God bless us all….everyone. And go to Tipping Point’s website here to order tickets.

Tipping point requires proof of vaccination or clean COVID test within 72 hours of performance, and masking while inside the theatre.

Week of 1/17/2022

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