Charles Dickens’ holiday classic is made over in ‘A Broadway Christmas Carol’ with parodies of famous musicals such as ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ “Annie,” and “Chicago.” What a brilliant idea! I attended the musical ‘A Broadway Christmas Carol’, which is produced by the University of Colorado in Boulder, at the CU boulder theater on Saturday, December 7, 2019 7:30 pm. I really appreciated the fact that the creator Kathy Feininger updated the original musical script with newly opened Broadway shows. The incredible choreography, from tap dances, jazz hands, ballet, and the wonderful customs along with unforgettable songs are what make this musical successful in my opinion. Eventually, you can reach an experience that is amusing, peculiar, and enjoyable in “A Broadway Christmas Carol.” Hence, in this essay, I’m going to examine how songs, customs, and choreography contributed to the success of the CU musical.
Ted Stark, the designer of costumes, created flashy, awkward but fun outfits brilliantly. He turned the early haunting ghosts into foolish characters: Christmas past, a slender Santa with a very long neglected carpet-like beard, Christmas present, a ghost who is present dressed-like in an oversized box, and the silent Opera Phantom with a candy cane and a small slay. The costumes were cleverly designed. Each scene had new costumes from black diamond-model shorts to a huge white ball gown with vermillion bows and lamps. The costume crew led by Ted were creative with the unusual costume of chandelier in particular. This amazing production is presented in a beautiful atmosphere with wonderful costumes. I enjoyed seeing through the various costume designs that made the musical successful due to the Ted’s brilliance as a costume designer.
Melissa Zaremba’s choreography incorporates a surface of whimsical joy, including time, the classical Fosse and ballet to present an outstanding choreography. The choreography is well performed throughout the musical, and even shows through roles such as Fred and the Chandelier, by Eric Gaydon. For the actors and the audience, it was a great time to merge the choreographic style with hit show tunes. You can tell that from the first scene of ‘Put on a Happy Face,’ when Fred tries to bring Scrooge the joy of Christmas. With the beautiful moves and the excellent tap dancing he brought joy to the audience. The difficult dances he performed seemed so easy to be performed by anyone as a result of the smooth execution of the dances. Melissa Zaremba’s choreography that effectively created the musical adds layers of wacky enjoyment and sophistication of dances to the musical making the musical successful.
Reproducing Broadway’s popular hits was a brilliant idea by Kathy Feininger that made the musical enjoyable. For example, when Belle tries to reason with ‘Let Me Go’ to the teen Scrooge in the tune of “Let It Go” from Frozen. Scrooge is called to ‘Try to remember’ by Ghost of Christmas Past from the Fantasticks, and when Scrooge is mocked by the family of Cratchit as ‘The master of feast.’ You could hear the audience singing along because most of their favorite songs were there. Even “Thank you for the Pudding”, sung by The Cratchit family, brought back some memories from Mama Mia. In general, the student actors did a fine job of performing the songs at all levels.
In short, as ‘A Broadway Christmas Carol’ hits the same level as the classic Dicken carol, there is much more foot tapping and laughter along the way. The music is presented in over 20 songs and its set is constantly inhabited. The passion by the students for the musical is evident and allows the audience to indulge in the fun. What makes CU’s success very unique is the creator’s brilliant idea of switching the songs and the incredible choreographer who lets you dance in your spot and eventually the amazing costumes that matched stage’s design as well as the script. Attending a live musical has changed the entire picture of musical in my mind. Unlike setting behind the screen, watching a live musical enabled me to interact with the musical. I even felt if I were part of the play.