Theater Notes: Extraordinary Christmas Carol
A drive down to Naples and The Gulfshore Playhouse will bring you the most amazing and unique theater experience of the season. It is a production of the one-man version of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.”
That one man is no ordinary one man. He is Cody Nickell, and this “Christmas Carol” by the playwright Tom Mula is certainly not your conventional “Christmas Carol.”
I gave it a rave review last year at its premier, and this year the brilliant director, Kristen Coury, has made it even better. She calls it version 2.0. The audience that leaped up to a resounding standing ovation, including me, would certainly agree. Add this play to your holiday favorites list.
Founder and producing artistic director Ms. Coury stated: “This is one of my favorite plays I’ve ever directed. It is a beautiful work of art, and Cody Nickell is truly magnificent in this play, delivering a tour de force performance in what will be his last time on Gulfshore Playhouse’s stage for the foreseeable future.”
You won’t want to miss what this man can do on stage. He does all the voices, all the characters, and does them with a flair that you too will find dazzling. Cody is a master of physical comedy, and the range of emotions he takes our Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge on you will find more than just impressive.
The set, the costumes, the music, the sounds, the lights, all contribute to this truly unforgettable evening of the most demanding and gratifying theater we are lucky enough to have come our way. It is not your light, frivolous night out after a luxurious dinner with too much wine. It asks a lot of the audience, an audience of genuine theater lovers.
This is theater that matters. It confronts us in the mirror of greed, treachery, selfishness, and chicanery held up as Scrooge’s life flashes by. It makes us wonder about the kindnesses we have failed to bestow on the people we’re supposed to love and care about, let alone the strangers and the needy we forget to notice. And I don’t just mean money kindnesses held back.
It certainly is not all gloom on that stage. Wait until you see what Cody Nicell can do. There’s comedy galore in the play, and nothing ever approaches farce or mere spectacle.
It’s the kind of theater I heartily support. Gulfshore Playhouse has brought it consistently to its audiences. I mention just three that quickly come to mind because they earned my deepest respect: “The Whipping Man,” “Master Class,” and last season’s “The God Game.” It is easy to add “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” to that proud list.
The play runs only through Dec. 21. Call the boxoffice before it sells out at (866) 811-4111, or go to the website at www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org.