Jeffrey Sanzel’s direction and performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge in Theater Three’s rendition of “A Christmas Carol” offered a delightful blend of comedy and drama, showcasing impeccable timing and seamless stage movement that captivated the audience. The vintage theater itself, complete with a basement speakeasy and the nostalgic scent of aged wood, contributed to the overall charm and provided a truly immersive holiday experience.
The production showcased an incredible attention to detail, with Brad Frey’s superb musical direction, Randall Parsons’ scenic design, and Robert Henderson Jr.’s masterful lighting and sound design, all adding depth and enhancing the atmosphere. The cast, delivering authentic performances true to the tradition of the classic, included notable standouts such as Stephen T. Wagner in the dual roles of Fezziwig and The Ghost of Christmas Present, creating a seamless transition between the characters’ lively and joyful qualities. Christina Gobes brought a heartfelt portrayal of the beggar girl, leaving a lasting impact despite her smaller stature her ominous presence was known throughout the entiretyof the presentation. The introduction of Jacob Marley was especially noteworthy, with the chilling effect of lighting and smoke as he emerged from the floor, showcasing Steven Uihlein’s standout performance. Ginger Dalton’s portrayal of the witty and comedic Mrs. Dilber, the housekeeper, added a continuous dose of laughter throughout the play. And, of course, Jeffrey Sanzel’s portrayal of Scrooge, refined and nuanced through years of perfecting the role, solidifies his reputation in this production.
In addition to the theatrical experience, the 27th Annual Festival celebrating Charles Dickens in Port Jefferson added to the festive atmosphere. Despite the unyielding rain, the town’s efforts to dress in Dickensian attire, including chimney sweepers, carolers, and police, truly brought the traditional Christmas spirit to life. The festivities continued beyond the theater, featuring an afternoon radio reading version of “A Christmas Carol” at The Village Center and a Christmas Sing Along with talented musicians. Notably, a collection of beautifully decorated Christmas trees for sale further augmented the holiday ambiance.
The entire experience of attending this production and participating in the Charles Dickens Festival was undeniably magical. Theater Three in Port Jefferson, known as the premier theater on Long Island, continues to deliver top-notch productions that transport audiences back in time and provide a traditional retelling of Charles Dickens’ cherished story. If you have the opportunity this holiday season, I highly recommend visiting Theater Three for a heartwarming dose of Christmas cheer or onecof their many other productions.
You can find tickets for Theater Three on their website: (https://www.theaterthree.com/)
The run time for the play is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, allowing for an immersive and engaging experience. 15 minute intermission