Up & Coming Weekly

November 14, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 16 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW November 15-21, 2023 EVENT Christmas is coming! e holiday season has officially kicked off in Cumberland County. Downtown Fayetteville is getting its annual holiday treatment with festive art installations popping up, white lights twirled around flag poles, and store window fronts getting the jingle treatment, displaying all the offerings of the season of giving. e Gilbert eater, a staple and downtown legend, is part of the kick- off with its annual production of A Christmas Carol. After a small hiatus — the theater ran It's a Wonderful Life for several years during the Christmas season — the beloved classic is back… but with a twist. is year, the theater is putting on an adaptation of A Christmas Carol writ- ten by veteran thespian, James Dean. A Christmas Carol will start run- ning on November 24th and run until December 17th. e show will run every Friday through Sunday. Friday's and Sunday's shows start at 8 p.m. Saturday has two shows for the public to choose from, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $18 to $20 and there is a group discount as well. Patrons are encouraged to buy tickets early, as this is one show that is popular and well-loved. Tickets can be purchased online at gilbertheater. com or by calling 910.678.7186. Gilbert eater is located at 116 Green Street, in downtown Fayetteville. e Gilbert eater has run A Christ- mas Carol since 2006, with a small break for a few years to give another timeless classic a chance to shine. While most are familiar with the age- old tale of A Christmas Carol, in true community theater fashion, Gilbert eater has decided to put on an adap- tation of the play, written by long-time supporter and actor of the stage, James Dean. With a name like that, the expecta- tion for this adaptation is high. Dean has been working in theater since 1976 and played Scrooge in the theater's very first production of the show in 2006. A love for the stage and the art form keeps him coming back. "I just do what I do. I'm not in it for money. I never have been. Money has always turned me off all my life. I was into commercial art until I realized you got paid for it, and people only wanted you to do what they wanted you to do in order to get paid for it and so… I do it for fun and because I love it," he said. "I wouldn't have started doing it back then and now I'm 72 and still doing it. at's a long time, but I've done a lot of good roles that I've loved. A couple of years ago I got to do All My Son's playing Joe Keller. I got to do Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and funny I wrote a story about a guy who hasn't got to do Billy Loeman in Death of a Salesman, which I haven't got to do yet… and then he gets on stage to make his entrance and drops dead… so that's it. ere are no big things to tell." is year he is reprising his role as Scrooge, making this year's production all that more unique and magical. For those who are fans of the origi- nal, the theater promises that while this adaptation is more condensed, it still carries the spirit of the original while adding new elements that create depth. "In this version, Scrooge is telling the story… he breaks the fourth wall," Dean said. Dean has made a name for himself as Scrooge here in Fayetteville, "It's pretty natural and I've done it for so long I don't like thinking about it too much. I just do it. I've been acting since the world began, something like that." With Dean's adaptation, it's up to eater Artistic Director Lawrence Carlisle to make it work on stage. "It's always how to stage things… it tends to be a fairly elaborate show, usu- ally with the trips to the past, the trips to the places in the present, visions of the future, so creative staging is always what we have to deal with to make sure we can tell the story and it makes sense." is year's production brings a few surprises, "I will hint that the spirits are a little different this year," Dean said. Gilbert eater will also be in full effect at A Dickens Holiday in Down- town Fayetteville. Carlisle said, "We will have our GLEE kids… selling flowers, as they've done in years previous, and I'll have one or two cast members out walking around in character… I'm try- ing to keep the ghost secret because it's different than what's normally done." ere could also be an opportunity to see some scenes played out during A Dickens Holiday at SkyView. ere is no confirmation yet but make sure you are following Gilbert eater on social media to stay up to date on all things A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol adaptation premiering at the Gilbert Theater by AMBER LITTLE AMBER LITTLE, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Help your kids to develop reading and critical thinking skills by playing games, solving puzzles, and reading exciting educational stories!

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