Maestro Arts and Reviews - December 2003


Online Entertainment Magazine

December  2003

Theater Review

 

Marley's Ghost

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA -  As a prequel to the Charles Dickens classic Christmas Carol, Marley's Ghost wonderfully supplements the legend of Ebenezer Scrooge's nemesis and partner Jacob Marley.  Played convincingly by Keythe Farley, Marley is newly dead and after freeing himself from a burlap body back near his grave, must be convinced he is truly dead by the silent, but active phantom (Richard Augustine), who looks frightfully like an evil Cousin It.  Eventually, Marley is brought to the surreal courtroom scene to be shown how he lived his life, including how he helped to create the monster, Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Bob Clendenin), and why he must now be put in chains.

 

 The one act play takes you throughout the historic Hollywood Forever Cemetery, each scene set in a different location and culminating in an outlandish Alice in Wonderland trial within a large mausoleum.  The challenges of sound and lighting (designed by Geoff Korf) were overcome by the actor's use of handheld lights and projecting their voices during outdoor scenes.  

 

Also, the cast created a sound-scape of howling winds, barking dogs and other eerie effects which surrounds the audience from the darkness of night.  Johanna McKay delivers a standout performance as the twenty-foot tall prosecutor, while her marionette like hands, played by Anthony Backman and Ross Mackenzie helped bring the colorful character to life.  The prosecutor is a  

 

 

 

diminutive, flying spirit (Kevin Fabian) and the phantom acts as his defense attorney.

 

The ensemble cast gave an exceptional performance in this new kind of "third dimensional" theater.  While creatively using this extraordinary environment with an original top-notch script (by Jeff Goode),  Marley's Ghost could easily become a new holiday classic.  - R. Harker

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