A Utah holiday tradition — Hale Centre Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” — will have a new venue this weekend, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video production of Hale’s version of the Charles Dickens holiday classic will screen at nine Megaplex Theatres locations in Utah, starting Friday, Dec. 11, at regular theater prices.
The theaters playing “A Christmas Carol,” listed from north to south, are:
Megaplex at The Junction, Ogden.
Megaplex Legacy Crossing, Centerville.
Megaplex Valley Fair, West Valley City.
Megaplex Cottonwood, Holladay.
Megaplex Jordan Commons, Sandy.
Megaplex at The District, South Jordan.
Megaplex Thanksgiving Point, Lehi.
Megaplex Geneva, Vineyard.
Megaplex Cedar Stadium, Cedar City.
The show will also make its digital premiere, starting Friday, Dec. 11, nationwide on Broadway on Demand.
The Hale Centre Theatre is operating at 25% capacity in its theaters in Sandy, because of COVID-19 health restrictions, so the show is practically sold out, according to a news release from the company.
“For so many people, it’s just not Christmas without seeing this production,” Sally Dietlein, Hale’s executive producer and co-founder, said in a statement, adding that she hopes the screen version “will provide so much joy and hope this holiday season.”
Hale has been performing this version of the story since 1985, a rewrite of a version that Hale Centre Theatre’s founders, Ruth and Nathan Hale, first performed in 1964 in Glendale, Calif. The production has evolved since then, and includes text from Dickens’ 1843 novella added by Richard Wilkins, a Dickens scholar who portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge at Hale for many years before his death in 2012.
In the video production, David Weekes takes the lead as Scrooge, the miser who is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley (Matt Kohler), who warns Scrooge to change his hard-hearted ways before it’s too late. Three more ghosts — representing Scrooge’s past, present and future — arrive to show Scrooge how he lost the Christmas feeling.
The cast includes Mia Bagley as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Conlon Bonner as Charles Dickens and Fred (Scrooge’s nephew), Jonathan Fifield as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Anthony Lovato as Bob Cratchit. The screen version is directed by John Sweeney.