A Christmas Carol returns to The Rialto

The Rialto’s annual production of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, is quickly becoming a local family tradition. An all Anglo production returns to the elegant retro theatre, located at 5723 av. du Parc (south of Bernard), for nine shows between December 13 and 23 and features some of Montreal’s finest in the musical theatre.

This year Scrooge will be cowering under the covers in the freshly renovated Rialto Hall, the third venue in the rapidly expanding complex. “I can’t think of a merrier way to inaugurate the opening of Rialto Hall than by staging this holiday favourite,” beamed Rialto owner and visionary, Ezio Carosielli.

Director, Stephen Vincelli (who has acted in and stage managed previous Christmas Carol interpretations at The Rialto), cast the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future with a blind eye to gender. Lanisa Dawn Farnsworth, Mike Melino (recently seen in the Segal Centre smash, Guys and Dolls), and Michel Langlois-Fequet escort Ebenezer on the journey of a lifetime in the hopes of melting his cold, cold heart so he might feel the warm glow of Christmas and spread a little joy of his own.

Triple threat (actor/singer/pianist) Chris Barillaro, who has worked on such notable Montreal musicals as Schwartz’s: The Musical, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls and the Canadian premiere of Altar Boyz, is the Musical Director. James Milvain, a native Albertan who’s worked across Canada for more than 25 years, once again dons the role of the surly, ‘bah humbugging’ Scrooge. Montrealers may remember him as the Man in the Chair in the 2011 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

An appropriately lean and lanky Peter Cook is Jacob Marley, Ebenezer’s miserly business partner who, wiser and repentant in death, comes to warn Scrooge of his imminent spectral visitations. Matthew Mckeown is the overworked yet eternally optimistic Bob Cratchit and 12-year-old Joe Stones (an ex-pat from Manchester, England) plays the sweet and fragile Tiny Tim. In all, twenty versatile actors grace the brand new stage, lending their voices to more than a dozen traditional Christmas carols, creating a holiday treat that is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

The creative team is equally impressive with Philippe Gobeille, whose set designs were last seen at The Rialto in The Rocky Horror Show, transporting us to Victorian England and Rachel Germinario, a pro in this her third Christmas Carol, fashioning the period costumes. Cara Carosielli, whose dance repertoire includes ballet, tap, hip-hop and ballroom to name a few, choreographs the merry revellers. Garou Blancan runs the electrical side of things as the Head Technician and Micheline Chartier rounds out the team, stage managing the mammoth ensemble.

Evening performances start at 7:30 PM and there are two matinées at 2 PM on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 23.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors, students (with ID) and children under 12 years, (includes all taxes and services charges).
For full details about dates and times or buy tickets, call The Rialto Box Office at 514-770-7773 or log onto The Rialto web site at www.rialtotheatre.ca.
Tickets are also available online through TicketPro at www.ticketpro.ca (there are additional fees for this service).

Please note that Rialto Hall is on the third floor with no elevator access.

Written by: Barbara Ford

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