A mash-up of holiday classics (with ghosts) at Fort Edmonton: It’s A Wonderful Christmas Carol

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

“I’m not the man I was….” 

No kidding. The flinty Mr. Scrooge gives off new sparks in the panto-radio play mash-up that opens at the Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park Thursday, as part of the Edmonton Christmas Market.

As the name suggests, It’s A Wonderful Christmas Carol, larky in spirit, gathers an assortment of holiday classics — and, as Davina Stewart puts it, “Flintstones them.” 

She’s part of the cast of four with comedy cred — including Dana Andersen, Andrea House, Paul Morgan Donald — who are joined, just for Thursday and Saturday’s performances, by special guest Kevin McDonald from Kids in the Hall.

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The hour-long show they’ve concocted for the festive season may well be the only Dickensian spinoff around in which Darth Vader is the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. And some of the orphans who trail through the Victorian period are as likely as not to be Minions. 

McDonald, an old friend of Andersen from 2nd City days, arrives from Toronto running; “he said Yes before he knew what he was saying Yes to,” laughs Stewart. He plays all the ghosts, Past, Present, and Future, plus Bob Cratchit in the show. Andersen is the stone-hearted Ebenezer, returning to a role he first played more than two decades ago in Regina, under the direction of clown guru Michael Kennard of Mump and Smoot fame. 

House is Mrs. Cratchit. And all the little Cratchits, from Tiny Timbits on upward in age and size through Vente and Grande, are “a work-in-progress.” Morgan Donald, the musical director of Die-Nasty, plays live.

Anachronism is the lifeblood of holiday pantos, a kooky Brit tradition that tops up a familiar story with a de rigueur mishmash of local, topical references and pop culture jokes. As Stewart predicts, you can expect the news of the day will produce Elon Musk jokes, the long-running Edmonton joke of the LRT, who’s getting 500 bucks and who isn’t — you know, the cringe-y absurdities we know.  

And, to anticipate your question, there will be puppets. 

It’s A Wonderful Christmas Carol runs Thursdays and Saturdays through Dec. 17 at the Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park. And the $25 (plus fees) tickets include entrance to the Christmas Market. Then it’s the show+brunch show at the Spotlight Cabaret Dec. 20-23. 

Tickets for the Capitol Theatre run: showpass.com/its-a-wonderful-christmas-carol. Tickets for Spotlight Cabaret: spotlightcabaret.ca.

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