A Classic Raleigh Christmas Production

For over forty years, Ira David Wood III, with the help of family and many spectacular cast members, has put on a lively, comedic, and sensational production of A Christmas Carol in Raleigh, and it has been a highlight of the holiday season for many families across the Triangle. The timeless tale by Charles Dickens is spruced up with relevant humor, energetic musical numbers, and overall remarkable acting that you will not find anywhere else. The play has even been called “…one of the most successful shows in North Carolina theatre history” from the Raleigh News & Observer. Wood had wanted to rewrite a Christmas Carol ever since he studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and we are certainly glad he did.

This classic adaptation has been a Raleigh staple ever since it debuted in 1974 at Theatre In The Park, and it continues to grow more and more popular each year. With such strong demand, they began performing in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and still had no problem filling seats. The show has been performed in Raleigh every year since it began, but traveled to Chapel Hill’s Dean Smith Center in 1989 where they performed for over 10,000 people. With such a profound history in Raleigh, when you enter the auditorium, you are in the company of newcomers as well as people who have attended each year for as long as they remember. Whether the show is a family tradition or completely new to you, each showing ensures a magical experience.  

Every element of the play is spectacular, but the thing people seem to enjoy most is the inclusion of relevant humor in places that you would not expect it. From government and politics to trending social media topics and local humor, you never know when they will pause a high-energy musical number to acknowledge Trump’s latest tweet. Although the comedy is unique to the show, that is not the only thing that keeps people coming back. The acting nearly reaches Broadway level with every character, no matter the role, coming to life and making audience members feel as if they are a part of the musical themselves. Their reactions are completely authentic as if they were living out the play in their real lives, and there are not many actors who can deliver that high quality of a performance. Scrooge, played by Wood himself, lives the story with such personality that it stops feeling like a play and begins to feel as if you are watching it for the first time in person. If you go for the comedy, the acting, or an overall good show, you will leave satisfied.

Whether you love the theater or not, A Christmas Carol will get anyone in the holiday spirit. There are still showings of the play through Sunday, so grab your friends and family and go enjoy this Raleigh Christmas classic.

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