For more than 40 years, KC Rep theater has brought in the holiday season with their production of “A Christmas Carol” to the glee of multiple family generations. If you haven’t seen it, consider giving it a try, and if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, KC Rep continues to bring new life to an old tale.
We all know the story, tightwad Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future and discovers the true meaning of holidays. But the production delivered by a cast and production team of 200 is far grander than watching it on television or even on an IMAX screen.
The production has multiple, marvelous sets that turn the UMKC’s Spencer Theater into 1843 London. The costuming is spot on and there’s multiple special effects and lots of singing of glorious and traditional Christmas Carols.
“Music is a very prominent feature in our Christmas Carol, it’s kind of a unique feature to Kansas City’s production as opposed to other productions within the country,” said Walter Coppage.
Coppage returns this year as the storyteller, a character that helps lead the audience through the play. A talented actor on stage, television and in films, coppage has appeared locally in productions at the Unicorn Theater, Coteries and KC Actors Theater. His very lengthy list of television and film appearances includes the 2018 Showtime Drama “The Chi” and Comedy Central’s “Detroiters. He is a an advisory board member of The KC FilmFest and KC Jubilee, and is The Unicorn Theatre’s Actor Ambassador for the National New Play Network.
Chioma Anyanwu, brings diversity to the role of Mrs. Crachit, the long-suffering wife of Bob Crachit. It’s a role not traditionally cast with an African American actress, but in theater what really matters is how well you play your role. An experienced stage, film and television actress, Anyaanwu lives in Columbia, MO and has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Acting from UMKC
Coppage, who became quite the regular in “A Christmas Carol,” says he remembers the Cratchits being multiracial for over 10 years and while he’s not certain, he believes he may have been the first person of color to play Bob Crachit, and that was 14 years ago.
Also adding diversity to the play’s cast is Darrington Clark. He’s becoming quite the regular in Kansas City theater. In addition to roles with KC Rep, he’s appeared on stage at the Coterie, the Unionron and Crown Center 4th Floor Theater.
Coppage hopes guests will have compassion after watching the play.
“I’m always amazed at how Christmas Carol is so necessary. During a time of Trumpism and far right extremism, I think we need to remember compassion. We need to remember empathy, especially for those in need and for those that are struggling,” he said.
This Christmas Carole runs about one hour and 45 minutes, with one 15 minute intermission.
The play continues through Saturday Dec. 24 at Spencer Theater on the UMKC campus.
For schedule and tickets, go to https://bit.ly/3gobkr3