A spirited 'Carol' indeed

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

In 1840’s London, Christmas was just another workday until Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” an instant hit, helped revive the season’s festive traditions. Much like Scrooge himself, and thanks to new customs such as Christmas trees, carol singing greeting cards — and a bloody day off — the holiday was transformed for all time.

Expect the usual epithany as Ebeneezer Scrooge, played by Bob Smith, confronts visions of a sad past and lonely future to embrace the Christmas present. The reaffirming tale plays Andrews Hall December 13-23, and the backstory is just as heartening.

The play is a collaboation between the Sonoma Community Center and Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company, and proceeds will benefit both organizations.

SV Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director, founding member and Sonoma native Aidan O’Reilly was diagnosed last year with Sarcoma, a rare cancer. Since then, O’Reilly has gone through intensive chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

Now cancer-free and ready to get back to work, Aidan acknowledges he has some catch-up to do. “Unfortunately, taking a year off means losing countless fundraising opportunities for the company,” said O’Reilly. “My next project, Macbeth, has been green lit for a feature film following its debut here in Sonoma, but the company needs to raise some money before that can happen.”

The Sonoma production is produced by O’Reilly and Anne Petersen, and its cast of 30 directed by Jim Kent.

“This classic story is one of the most enduring and charming of holiday entertainments,” said Toni Castrone, the community center’s executive director. “Sharing the proceeds from this production is a great way for us to demonstrate the spirit of cooperation that is at the core of our mission.”

Shows are December 13-14, 20-21, and 23 at 7 p.m., and December 15 at 2 p.m. $5-$20. 276 E. Napa St. 938.4626 x1.

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